In my post “What should I name this beetle?”, I discussed a pretty, spotted beetle species that lives in the Sierra Nevadas of California and which lacks a name.
I’ve recently been in discussion with Don Cameron, an arachnologist and friend of my brother Wayne. Don is a scholar of Greek and Latin, and has been tremendously helpful in my search for a name. Here are the options he suggested that I like the best:
Bembidion oreoastron, from the Greek “oreos” (= “mountain”, genitive singular) and “astron” (= “star”, neuter noun). Thus, oreoastron is “mountain star”.
Bembidion orolampron, from the Greek “oros” (=”mountain”, nominative neuter), and lampron (= “gleaming”). Thus, orolampron is “mountain gleaming”.
I’m strongly leaning toward Bembidion oreoastron. I’ll sleep on it a few days, and decide.
What do you folks think?
The word “oreoastron” in modern greek means “beautiful star”. “Oros” is the mountain as indicated in your second example and the genitive is correct, but as written above (“oreoastron”) a native speaker will never assume it refers to a mountain.
Very interesting, Stelios! I asked Don about this, and he agreed: In Classical Greek, “oreoastron” is the correct form for “mountain star”, but in Modern Greek, “oreoastron” would be “beautiful star”. I actually like this duality – in this way the name can mean both “mountain star” and “beautiful star”, which appeals.
Bembidion oreoastron is a lovely name for a beetle, go with it.