Sunday, November 11, 2012

Entomological Smackdown

"Yet the law of priority compels its adoption, and one's regret is perhaps to a certain extent lessened by the satisfaction derived from abolishing a name so ill-formed and so ill-sounding as Opisthemega." -R.I. Pocock
The above is taken from a manuscript clearing up confusion about the genus Theatops, which includes a few large centipedes with surprisingly fat terminal legs.

It's burying into the ground here, with the terminal legs trailing at the top of the picture. Yes, it can pinch with them.

There are many hidden gems like these in scientific publications, and it's always a joy to come across them. You're reminded that the entomologists writing them are people too. And I must agree, Opisthemega is a terrible name.

Reference:
Pocock RI. 1888. Annals And Magazine of Natural History. 1:283-290. Link.

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