[Annelida] seta vs chaeta
savs551216 at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 20 14:41:15 EST 2006
Sorry to bother you again. Please forward the following message to Annelida
subscribers. I tried the former address, but something went wrong. Thanks a
. . . .
During the evaluation of some of my recent papers, I have noticed a variable
level of insistence on using chaeta instead of seta (and derivatives).
However, as I will show below, although some authors regard them as
equivalent, they are not; the former meaning long hairs, while the latter
indicates short (rigid) hair. Since the latter are more akin to the annelid
structures, Polychaeta (or its antonym, Oligo-) might be wrongly
Jaeger (1931) in his classical and succinct volume makes both words
equivalent. Thus, for chaet (p. 26) he indicates that it means both hair and
bristle, while for set (p. 133) it only gives bristle.
After Brown (1956:195), chaeto- is formed after the Greek word chaite
meaning long hair or mane, and the entry asks to see hair. Under hair (p.
390 ff), it includes several names made after chaet. In the same section (p.
392), it has the Latin word seta which is feminine and means bristle, and
this is repeated under seta (p. 699). This information s also available in
The Collins Cobuild dictionary (1993) states that bristles (p. 174) are: 1)
thick, strong, animal hairs that feel hard and rough, or 2) short, thick
hairs that grow on part of your body after you have shaved it. On the
contrary, mane (p. 883) is a horses or lions
long hair that grows from
Thus, there are two features making these words differ; they are the
relative length and stiffness of the hairs they were originally employed
for. Therefore, in the worst scenario both usages should be allowed, and
perhaps the use of seta (and derivatives) should be preferred over chaetae,
because they are better etymologically applied, despite the fact that the
taxon name is Polychaeta.
Brown RW 1956 Composition of Scientific Words. Smithsonian, Washington, 882
Collins Cobuild (Collins Birmingham University Language Database) 1993
English Language Dictionary. Harper Collins, London, 1703 pp.
Jaeger, E.C. 1931. A dictionary of Greek and Latin combining forms used in
zoological names. Thomas, Springfield, 157 pp.
More information about the Annelida