Endemics and Epidemics of Shibboleths and other things Causing Chaos

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Classical biological control is a set of activities in which non-native predators, parasites, parasitoids, competitors or pathogens, are introduced into an area for the control of pests, especially immigrant pests. The language of classical biological control is that of ecology, which uses words of classical (Greek and Latin) origin because these can be assigned precise meanings. The precision of the meanings allows for conciseness and accuracy of expression, or such is the intention. Unfortunately, the meanings of a group of words describing the origins of predators etc. and pests alike are anything but precise. Their definitions are chaotic in several dictionaries. Therefore we take an etymological voyage to the origins of the words precinctive, autochthonous, indigenous, epidemic, endemic, adventive, introduced, and immigrant to see how they have been used, and we illustrate this voyage by citations from the literature. Then we show the relationships of the five words that we deem most useful in describing origins, and we redefine the words adventive, immigrant, and introduced.

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The Florida Entomologist, v. 73, issue 1, p. 1-9