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Hirudinology or bdellology?

Serge Yu. Utevsky Serge.Yu.Utevsky at univer.kharkov.ua
Wed Oct 31 15:56:25 EST 2001

Dear Leech Scientists,

I would like to discuss the question how to name leech science. There are 
several terms in the scientific literature. Currently it is generally agreed to 
use the word hirudinology. It derives from the Latin word Hirudinea, 
meaning leeches, and the Greek word logos, science. Sometimes 
physicians using leeches in medicine employ the term hirudology. I 
suppose these words are incorrect. Scientific terms should consist of parts 
deriving from a single language, usually from Greek. For example we use 
terms zoology (not 'animology'), entomology (not 'insectology'), herpetology 
(not 'reptilology'), ornithology (not 'avology'). Thus the term hirudinology is 
a chimerical word. Fortunately, there is a suitable but not frequent word. 
Some zoologists and physicians have used the term bdellology. It is a 
completely Greek word. 'Bdella' means a leech. The ending 'bdella' is 
usually employed by leech taxonomists for new names of leech genera: 
Phyllobdella, Pterobdella, Beringbedella, etc.  I suggest using the word 
bdellology. It is the most correct name for the most interesting science _  

Best wishes,
Serge Utevsky
Dr. Serge Yu. Utevsky
Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology 
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University 
Pl. Svobody, 4
Kharkov 61077 
Fax: +380572 43 33 96
<Serge.Yu.Utevsky at univer.kharkov.ua> 

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