— This glossary was compiled and edited by volunteer scientists from multiple scientific disciplines using reputable sources, including the references listed at the bottom of this page. If you don’t find the scientific word, term, or expression you are looking for, let us know in the comment section below, and we will research the word for you, and add it to the glossary. We desperately need editors to flesh this glossary out. If you are interested, please contact jerry.cates@entomobiotics.com:


  • Wabasso Millidge 1984: first described by A. F. (Frank) Millidge, a British arachnologist, in 1984. Millidge, seeking a name that would imply that these spiders preferred northern habitats, lifted a word from Longfellow’s poem Song of Hiawatha, explaining his choice thusly: “Wabasso, the North, in Song of Hiawatha. The name is masculine.” And, indeed, Song of Hiawatha does read, in II. 5-7, as follows: “From the regions of the northwind, from the kingdom of Wabasso, from the land of the White Rabbit…” A careful perusal of that passage suggests Wabasso could possibly be another name for northwind, but a more likely meaning is apparent as well; reading further, in X. 248, Longfellow writes “And the rabbit, the Wabasso, scampered from the path before them.” From this one must conclude that, as the earlier passage suggests, Longfellow meant the Ojibwa word Wabasso to mean, not north(wind) as Millidge presumed, but rabbit, and in fact analysts have parsed the Objibwa word involved, finding that it means rabbit (source: Ubick, et al., 2005, p. 328; arach. — a genus in the Linyphiidae family of sheet web spiders.


anat. = anatomy; arach. = arachnid; behav. = behavioral; 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. Cushing 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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