Andrewes and Gordon (1907) isolated a species to which they applied the name Staphylococcus salivarius. This has been reisolated (Gordon 1967; Bergan et al. 1969) and by virtue of its biochemical properties and DNA base composition must belong in the genus Micrococcus. Inherent in the change of classification is the question of the specific epithet for the species. The combination M. salivarius would become illegitimate, being a later homonym to another species described by Migula (1900). Also, Andrewes and Gordon's use of the epithet salivarius is found to be illegitimate per se, because the species was named Micrococcus mucilaginosus by Migula (1900). This is substantiated both by our own studies (Bergan et al. 1969) and by additional biochemical criteria listed for M. mucilaginosus by Krasil'nikov (1949). A neotype strain, 5762/67, is proposed for and an emended description of this species is given.


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