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Thread: What do the abbreviations "cf.", "aff.", "spp." mean?

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    What do the abbreviations "cf.", "aff.", "spp." mean?

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    Hi

    I can't seem to find the previous thread where one kind brother has explained the above terms...

    Can someone help to point out that thread? thanks!
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    its actually "cf.", "aff." and "spp.", all are abbreviations of latin terms.

    spp. is simply the plural form of "sp." or species.

    cf. is short for "confer" meaning "compare with" in the context of systematics/taxonomy

    aff. is short for "affinis" meaning "similar to"


    cf. is used with you have a specimen that is very close to something you know, but you are not sure if it is different. whereas aff. is used with you have a specimen that is similar something you know, but you are sure it is different.

    example:

    Rasbora cf. elegans means a fish that is very similar to the regular Rasbora elegans but you are not sure if the slight difference is indicative of a separate species.

    Rasbora aff. elegans means a fish that is very similar to the regular Rasbora elegans but you are quite sure they are different.

    The latter case is not very commonly used as most authors prefer to simply refer a confirmed undescribed species as Rasbora sp. (in this case he/she is sure it is a Rasbora).
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    Thanks for the explanation Choy! I get it now
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    So meaning to say, there are still quite alot of unknown spcies since alot of apistogramma still have the name with SP or so?
    Zack

    Planted tank: Melanotaenia Lacustris, Melanotaenia Parkinsoni, Melanotaenia Praecox,
    Glossolepis Incisus, Melanotaenia Maccullochi, Melanotaenia Boesemani, Iriatherina Werneri, Barilius Canarensis

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    Yes, even till present, the rivers are still chalking up new species.
    Eugene (^_^)
    De Dwergcichlide Fanatiek
    Now swimming: Plecos and Apistogrammas
    Enter at your own risk --> http://fotologue.jp/eugenesng/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenislev View Post
    So meaning to say, there are still quite alot of unknown spcies since alot of apistogramma still have the name with SP or so?
    the correct word is "undescribed". many fishes may be "known" but not yet scientifically described and hence have no formal latin names. for example the Odessa barb which has been in the trade for years, is not yet formally described.

    however, you can bet your life there are tonnes of unknown (not just undescribed) species out there, which is why it is so important we don't destroy all those "useless" and "unproductive" habitats.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

  7. #7

    abbreviations "cf.", "aff.", "sp.", "spp.", and "ssp." corrected

    Hi, hwchoy and cacatuoides,

    this is Heiko Bleher and I wanted to tell you the following (or better correct it):
    actually "cf.", "aff." are Latin abbreviations not "spp.", sp. or ssp.

    spp. is simply the plural form of "sp." or species, correct, and ssp is subspecies.

    cf. is short for "confer" meaning "compare with" in the context of systematics/taxonomy = correct, but see below.

    aff. is short for "affinis" meaning "it has affinities of that species" (eg fins, or account, colours, or shape), but see below.


    "cf." is used with a specimen that the author (writer/ichthyologist, describer, etc.) wants to compare with the following cited species, but he believes that it is different, probably new to science.

    "aff." is used a specimen that has similar characters (morphology) as the following cited species, but he is not (yet) sure that it is a different species.

    "sp." is used in the case that an author (writer, ichthyologist, etc.)
    can not say any of the above mentioned, but he is sure of the fact that the species he is talking about (writing, or showing a photo of) belongs to the referred genus (eg. Rasbora sp.), but does not know at all if new, or which species it might be.

    I hope I am of help and corrected you, I am a publishers (for the last 15 yaers or so) of a scientific journal:
    aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology - see also:
    www.aqua-aquapress.com

    All the best

    Heiko Bleher
    www.aquapress-bleher.com
    Best regards,
    Heiko Bleher

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    Thanks for the detailed explanation!! I've understand it better now

    Thanks for putting this up as sticky too!
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