Document Type

Peer-Review Article



Attempts to understand the origin of Linnaeus' name for the scorpionfly Panorpa have come to nought for a very good reason. The word does not mean anything at all. It is an interesting example of the futility of looking up names in a Latin or Greek dictionary to find their meaning when the history of the word is at all complicated. The word Panorpa is born of a series of taxonomic, philological, grammatical, and (perhaps) typographical errors which can be sorted out by a survey of the pre-Linnaean history of the word and of the insect. In order to keep the end in view throughout the argument that follows, the reader may be gratified to anticipate the conclusion that Panorpa comes ultimately from the Greek word parnops (genitive parnopos) meaning 'locust.'

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