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Q: Origin of word "Eisenia" ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Origin of word "Eisenia"
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mb10-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 11 Feb 2003 11:24 PST
Expires: 13 Mar 2003 11:24 PST
Question ID: 160045
I am employed as recycling coordinator at a community college.  We use
red wiggler worms, "Eisenia fetida" to recycle food waste.  I want to
know the origin of the word "Eisenia."  I have been able to locate
"fetida" but not "Eisenia
Subject: Re: Origin of word "Eisenia"
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 11 Feb 2003 14:49 PST
Hi mb10-ga,

Thanks for your question. 

I'll begin by breaking down the components of Eisenia fetida. Eisenia
refers to the genus and fetida the species.

Classification of Earthworms

According to Webster's Unabridged dictionary, the word derives from
Gustav A. Eisen [there are assorted variations on this name], an
American zoologist and archeologist. Eisenia itself refers to "a
widely distributed genus of small earthworms."

Webster's Unabridged Online

Eisen was born in Sweden in 1847 and came to the United States in
1873. He died in 1940.

August Gustav Eisen

Eisen apparently was a man with many interests, including Mayan
culture, beads, textiles, and zoology.

Maya Textiles of Guatemala: the Gustavus A. Eisen Collection

Bead Researchers Hall of Fame

In keeping with these varied interests, he authored a number of books,
including "On California Eudrilidae," "Researches in American
Oligochaeta," "Pacific coast Oligocheta" (about worms) as well as
"Portraits of Washington," "Raisin Industry" and "Great Chalice of

Library of Congress

Search strategy
Google search:
eisenia fetida taxonomy
eisen eisenia
"gustav eisen"
"gustavus eisen"
I also checked the Library of Congress catalog (basic search: eisen,
g) to make sure that Gustavus and Gustav Eisen were the same

I hope this answers your question. If you need additional information
or if the links don't work, please ask for additional clarification
before rating my answer and I'll do my best to assist you.

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