Etymology of snake genera

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Hello all,

I need help with the etymology of a few snake genera. Would anybody know of a website where I can research this? Or can answer directly? :)

In particular:
Hypsiscopus
Gonyosoma
Fowlea

Thanks a lot!

Hans

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by BillMcGighan »

Are you looking for the synonyms over the years like?
https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/s ... xycephalum


or how the herpetologist decided on a particuar genus name?

or the Greek or Latin origins of the genus name?

This may help also:
https://www.iczn.org/the-code/the-inter ... de-online/

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Hi Bill,

no, I want to know what the names mean, e.g.:


Pseudagkistrodon:from Greek "pseudes", "false", and "Agkistrodon", a genus of American pit vipers. The name Agkistrodon comes from the Greek words ankistron ('fishhook') and odon 'tooth' and is likely a reference to the fangs.

Thank you!

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by BillMcGighan »

Gotcha
Maybe a help:

Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
ISBN-13: 978-0874840537
ISBN-10: 0874840538

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you very much!

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Jeff
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Jeff »

Hans
The etymology of old generic names can be tough to determine without a fluency in ancient Greek or Latin, that is, those that were created prior to the relatively recent requirement to provide an etymology in the manuscript.
Hypsiscopus comes from the Greek Hypsi (high or lofty) and scopus (view) in reference to the location of the eyes atop the head in those snakes.
Gonyosoma comes from Wagler, who, like Stejneger, were rare 19th -century authors who provided greek etymologies. In the present case - gony (angle), soma (body), probably in reference to the sharply angled ventrolateral junction that is characteristic of so many "rat" snakes.
In his original description of Fowlea, Theobald states "Captured by E. Fowle, Esq., who is one of the very few who have liberally aided me in the study of our Indian reptiles."
It's really case-by-case.
Jeff

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Wow, JEFF! That is beyond awesome. I imagine you're fluent in both Latin and Greek? My Latin is rather unfluent, although over the years and due to my interest in biology, my vocabulary has increased from my high school days when my most hated subject was Latin. And boy, was I bad at it. My father had forced me to choose it over French, insisting that it would be more beneficial later in life. (Of course, he was right, and I thank him every day) Greek wasn't offered at my high school, so the few words I know are mostly from the menus in gyros restaurants....

Thank you very much again!

Hans

herpfriend
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Thank you very much!!!
herpfriend wrote:
December 7th, 2020, 8:51 pm
This may help:

http://www.ebeltz.net/herps/etymain.html#Snakes

AEthelred
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by AEthelred »

Wikipedia has always worked for me.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Not in these cases...
AEthelred wrote:
December 7th, 2020, 11:30 pm
Wikipedia has always worked for me.

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Jeff
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Jeff »

Hans
I'm not even fluent in pig latin, but a long interest in etymology has deposited much nomenclatural strata in the brain pan.
If I don't know the etymology I start with the original description for clues.
Jeff

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Etymology of snake genera

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

Jeff wrote:
December 8th, 2020, 1:02 pm
If I don't know the etymology I start with the original description for clues.
That's a good idea!

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