Common name error? gillettii

Ernest Williams ewilliam at
Thu Oct 26 13:22:38 EDT 2000

Norbert et al.,

An interesting point.  I've never seen the name Gillette spelled without an
"e", so I've used "Gillette's" on infrequent occasions when a
common/English name is needed (mostly I just use the scientific name
_gillettii_).  I'm sure others have made the same assumption, whether the
source is the razor company, the Wyoming town (as Chris Durden mentioned),
or just the occasionally seen name "Gillette".

Although your Alberta book gives the etymology as referring to Gillett, the
original description of the species (Barnes, 1897, Canad. Ent. 29:39) does
not.  How do you know who Barnes was honoring with this name and what the
correct spelling should be? (...this is a friendly question!)  Where is
there anything in print about this, other than the Alberta book, which does
not give a source?  Where is there information on Gillett?

An alternate English common name for _gillettii_ is "Yellowstone
Checkerspot", which recognizes the type locale.  The Miller et al. (1992)
Common Names book lists this name, and one biologist I know uses it

As Ken Philip noted, the scientific name has been mispelled occasionally.
Barnes (1897) described the species as as "Gillettii", and Gunder (1930)
used with "gillettii" (lower-case "G"), which has been widely accepted.
But Comstock (1940) erred with "gilletti" as did Miller & Brown (1981), and
Ken listed Dyar (1902) as using "gillettei".

Just shows how copy error can arise and spread.  Sounds like molecular
evolution, though without the filter of natural selection!


>Many recent books, articles, lists and web sites have been using "Gillette's
>Checkerspot" as the common name for Euphydryas gillettii.  This is rather
>odd because as pointed out in Alberta Butterflies; this butterfly was named
>after Clarence P. Gillett and the common name is spelled "Gillett's".  Cris
>Guppy advises that the first author to use a common name for gillettii is
>Holland (1931) and that he spelled the name "Gillett's".  So my good-natured
>question to people who have been using "Gillette's" is: why have you decided
>to change the spelling of Clarence's last name ?? big smiley :-)


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