Common name error? gillettii

Cris Guppy or Aud Fischer cguppy at
Thu Oct 26 20:18:21 EDT 2000

Clarence P. Gillett was a prominent entomologist at Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, Colorado, from 1891 to his death in 1941. E.
gillettii was named in 1897, and presumably was named after him. Possibly
Gillett collected the specimens. However more evidence is required to fully
remove the "presumably" and "possibly" from the preceding statements.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ernest Williams <ewilliam at>
To: leps-l at <leps-l at>
Cc: Norbert.Kondla at <Norbert.Kondla at>
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 10:42 AM
Subject: Re: Common name error? gillettii

>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
>>Checkerspot" as the common name for Euphydryas gillettii.  This is rather
>>odd because as pointed out in Alberta Butterflies; this butterfly was
>>after Clarence P. Gillett and the common name is spelled "Gillett's".
>>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
>>question to people who have been using "Gillette's" is: why have you
>>to change the spelling of Clarence's last name ?? big smiley :-)
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