0013. Etymology of the earwigfly, Merope tuber Newman (Mecoptera: Meropeidae): Simply dull or just inscrutable?

Louis A. Somma, James C. Dunford


The naturalist Edward Newman did not provide an etymology for the mecopteran Merope tuber when he described it in 1838. In 1872 Asa Fitch asserted that the genus was named after Merope one of the Pleiades sisters of Greek mythology; however, he provided no reason for his assumption. We researched several etymological alternatives. We concur with Fitch and conclude that Newman did indeed name the genus Merope after the dullest of the Pleiades sisters.

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