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Volume 19, Number 6—June 2013

Etymologia: Shewanella haliotis

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Shewanella haliotis [shooʺə-nelʹə hāʺlĭ-oʹtĭs]

From the Greek halios (marine) and ōtos (ear), abalones, genus Haliotis, were first mentioned ≈2,500 years ago by Aristotle, who wrote of “the wild limpet (called by some the ‘sea ear’).” In D’Arcy Thompson’s translation of Aristotle, he notes that “wild limpet” is “commonly attributed to Fissurella graecea ... and conceals a forgotten name for Haliotis.” The “sea ear” was familiar to the Greeks and was named otia (little ear) by Pliny.

Shewanella haliotis, a species of rod-shaped, gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic bacteria, was first isolated from the gut microflora of abalones collected from the ocean near Yeosu, South Korea, by Kim et al. in 2007. The genus Shewanella had been previously named in 1985 by MacDonell and Colwell in honor of Scottish microbiologist James M. Shewan, for his work in fisheries microbiology.



  1. Cox  CW. California abalones, family Haliotidae. Sacramento (CA): The Resources Agency of California, Department of Fish and Game. Fish Bulletin no. 118; 1962.
  2. Hunter  R. The encyclopaedic dictionary: a new and original work of reference to all the words in the English language. Vol. IV, part 1. London: Cassell & Company, Limited; 1884.
  3. Kim  D, Baik  KS, Kim  MS, Jung  BM, Shin  TS, Chung  GH, Shewanella haliotis sp. nov., isolated from the gut microflora of abalone, Haliotis discus hannai. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2007;57:292631. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. MacDonell  MT, Colwell  RR. Phylogeny of the Vibrionaceae, and recommendation for two new genera, Listonella and Shewanella. Syst Appl Microbiol. 1985;6:17182. DOIGoogle Scholar


Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid1906.et1906

Keywords: etymologia, Shewanella haliotis, bacteria, gram negative, abalone, sea ear, James Shewan

Medline indexes "Syst Appl Microbiol" but cannot find a listing for reference 4 "MacDonell, Colwell, 1985". Please check the reference for accuracy.

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Page created: May 07, 2013
Page updated: May 07, 2013
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