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Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 June; 19(6): 988.
PMCID: PMC3713846

Etymologia: Shewanella haliotis

Shewanella haliotis [shooʺ[turned e]-nelʹ[turned e] 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.

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

Suggested citation for this article: Etymologia: Shewanella haliotis. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2013 Jun [date cited].


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


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, et al. Shewanella haliotis sp. nov., isolated from the gut microflora of abalone, Haliotis discus hannai. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2007;57:2926–31 10.1099/ijs.0.65257-0 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
4. MacDonell MT, Colwell RR. Phylogeny of the Vibrionaceae, and recommendation for two new genera, Listonella and Shewanella. Syst Appl Microbiol. 1985;6:171–82 10.1016/S0723-2020(85)80051-5 [Cross Ref]

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