Glossary of Scientific Terms and Expressions: N

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A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z

  • nearctic: Gr. νεα “nea” = young, youthful, new, fresh + Gr. αρκτικος “arctikos” = arctic, northern: 1. biogeography — temperate and arctic parts of North America, including Greenland; one of eight terrestrial ecosystems into which the globe is subdivided.
  • nematode: Gr. νημα “nema”  = thread; 1. Zoology: nematodes, also known as roundworms, comprise the phylum Nematoda; they are the most diverse phylum within the unofficial grouping known as pseudocoelomates. Nematodes lack vascular blood systems (nutrients and wastes circulate in the body by diffusion and osmosis); have no skeletons (depending instead on hydrostatic pressure to support the body); are not segmented; have a body wall of epidermis and muscle fibers, usually covered by a secreted cuticle; are generally microscopic; and are parasites and parasitoids of almost every form of life, though some are free-living. Over 28,000 species have been described, over 16,000 of them parasitic. It is widely believed over 1,000,000 nematode species exist.
  • neotropic: Gr. νεος “neos” = young, youthful, new fresh + Gr. τροπικος “tropicos” = of the tropics; 1. biogeog. — tropical North, Central, and South America, including southern Florida, the Mexican lowlands.
  • nomen dubium (pl. nomina dubia): L. nomen = a name + dubius = doubtful, wavering in opinion; 1. taxon. — scientific names of doubtful or unknown application.
  • nomen nudem (pl. nomina nuda): L. nomen = a name + L. nudas = naked, nude; 1. taxon. — scientific names that could not, at the time the label was applied, be associated with a recognizable biological entity.



  • anat. = anatomy; arach. = arachnid; behav. = behavioral; biogeog. = biogeographical; biol. = biological (inclusive of all animals and plants); bot. = botanical (inclusive of all plants); Gr. = Greek; L. = Latin; q.v. = L. quod vide = which see; pl. = plural; taxon. = taxonomy; zool. = zoological (inclusive of all animals).



  • Allaby, Michael, Ed. 1991. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Zoology. Oxford Press.
  • Beccaloni, Jan. 2009. Arachnids; Glossary, p. 319. University of California Press, p. 56.
  • Gertsch, Willis J., 1979. American Spiders, 2nd Edition: Glossary, pp. 255-260. Von Nostrand Reinhold Company.
  • Howell, W. Mike, and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. Spiders of the Eastern United States; Glossary, Chapter X, pp. 341-348. Pearson Education.
  • Jackman, John A. 1997. A Field Guide to Spiders & Scorpions of Texas: Glossary pp. 173-177. Texas Monthly.
  • Kaston, B. J. 1978. How to know the spiders: Index and Pictured Glossary, pp. 267-272. McGraw Hill Company.
  • Preston-Mafham, Rod. 1996. The Book of Spiders and Scorpions; Glossary, pp. 140-141. Barnes & Noble Books, New York.
  • Ubick, D., P. Paquin, P.E. Cusing and V. Roth, editors, 2005. Spiders of North America, Chapter 72: Glossary — pronunciation guide. Published by the American Arachnological Society.
  • Venes, Donald, Ed. 2009. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 21st Ed. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia.
  • Williams, Tim. 2005. A Dictionary of the Roots and Combining Forms of Scientific Words. Squirrox Press, Norfolk, England

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