Etymology: Other Derivations
Aegista diversifamilia Huang et al., 2014
(snail) This hermaphroditic snail is "named after the recent efforts
supporting equal marriage rights in Taiwan and around the world." Its
epithet is derived from Latin for "different family." [ZooKeys
Arthrenus museorum Linnaeus, 1761 (dermestid
beetle) Linnaeus discovered this beetle devouring valuable museum
collections of zoological specimens. Dermestid beetles today are used
by museums to prepare skeleton specimens by cleaning soft tissue from
Boronia hoipolloi M.F.Duretto, 1999
(Queensland citrus relative) Found in a sandstone amphitheatre.
[Austrobaileya 5(2): 288]
Cafeteria roenbergensis Fenchel & Patterson,
1988 (bacterivorous zooflagelate) Patterson said the name "was
prompted by a pink neon sign affixed to a wall on hostelry in Roenbjerg
(Denmark) which was illuminated just as the authors were about to give
up on finding a good name for one of the most significant consumers in
Callicebus aureipalatii (Golden Palace
monkey) The right to name this Bolivian monkey were put up for option.
GoldenPalace.com, a Canadian web-based casino, paid $650,000 for such
publicity. The money will generate an estimated $40,000 to $45,000 per
year which the Bolivian Wildlife Conservation Society will use to
maintain Madidi National Park, probably the most biologically diverse
park in the world.
Calliopsis filiorum Rozen, 1963 (andrenid
bee) "Filiorum" is Latin for 'children'. So named because Rozen's
children waited patiently in the sun while he dug up the nest.
Cardiocondyla pirata Seifert & Frohschammer,
2013 (ant) "The species epithet refers to the black ribbon
across the eye reminiscent of a pirate's blindfold." [ZooKeys
Chromis humbug Whitley 1954 (fish)
Corydoras narcissus Nijssen & Isbrucker, 1980
(catfish) Named "narcissus" because the discoverers insisted that the
describer name it after them.
Cyclocephala unamas Ratcliffe, 2003 (scarab
beetle) Spanish for "one more," since there are so many in the
Drepanovelia millennium Andersen and Weir,
2001 (veliid water strider) The real "Millennium
bug". [Invert. Taxonomy 15: 217-258]
Drosera zigzagia Lowrie (sundew) Its leaves
alternate along a zigzag stem.
Siphonocryptus zigzag (millipede)
Erythroneura ix Myers (leafhopper) This was
Myers' 9th species of Erythroneura.
Gaudeamus igitur Simons (Oligocene rodent)
The name means "let us therefore be joyful," the first words of a
medieval student song. Supposedly, there was something particularly
lucky about the fossil.
Goodrichthys (fossil shark)
Halkieria evangelista Conway Morris and Peel,
1995 "The name is chosen as an indication of the fossil's
explanatory power for Lower Cambrian palaeontology, and aslo as a pun
on Johann, one of the pilots who assisted in field-work."
[Phil. Trans. Biol. Sci. 347: 310.]
Histiophryne psychedelica Pietsch, Arnold &
Hall, 2009 (fish) Named for the wild swirl of stripes which
covers its body.
Hallucigenia Conway Morris, 1977 (Cambrian
marine onychophoran) for "the bizarre and dream-like appearance of the
animal". The original interpretation was upside-down; what Conway
Morris thought were legs were armor spines on its back.
Horridonia horrida (Permian brachiopod) It
has nothing more horrible than a set of spines.
Hymenodon reggaeus Karttunen & Back,
1988 (moss) Karttunen collected this moss in Jamaica and named
it after the local music.
Inglorious mediocris Austin 1997 (mediocre
Indicator indicator Sparrman, 1777 (greater honey-guide)
This African bird leads people and honey-badgers to honey
Luckia striki Bellan-Santini & Thurston
1996 (amphipod) Named for the "Lucky Strike" hydrothermal vent
field along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Macrocarpaea lacrossiformis J.R. Grant
Mycena luxaeterna and
Mycena luxperpetua Desjardin et al., 2010
(mushrooms) The epithets, which mean "eternal light" and "perpetual
light", come from the words of Mozart's Requiem. The fungi
glow 24 hours a day.
Oedipina complex (salamander)
Paradoxides paradoxissimus (trilobite)
Proconsul Hopwood, 1933 (Miocene
hominoid) "before Consul". Consul was the name of a popular chimpanzee
in the Birmingham Zoo, England.
Shuvosaurus inexpectatus Chatterjee, 1993
(theropod dinosaur) so called because its features were more advanced
than expected for a Triassic theropod.
Sinornithosaurus millenii Xu, Wang & Wu,
1999) (Chinese dromaeosaur)
Thambema thunderstruckae Zemko & Kaiser
2012 (marine isopod) Named for the AC/DC song "Thunderstruck",
the lead author's favorite song. [Polish Polar Res. 33:
Wonderpus photogenicus Hochberg, Norman, and Finn
2007 ("wonderpus" Indo-Malayan octopus) [Molluscan
Research 26: 128]
Xanthopan morgani praedicta Rothschild & Jordan,
1903 (African sphinx moth) In The Various Contrivances by which
Orchids are Fertilized by Insects (1877), Charles Darwin described
an orchid from Madagascar, Angraecum sesquepedale, whose flowers
have a spur almost 12 inches long, with all the nectar at the bottom.
He hypothesized that, for the plant to be fertilized, "In Madagascar
there must be moths with proboscides capable of extension to a length of
between ten and eleven inches! This belief of mine has been ridiculed by
entomologists..." (On the Various Contrivances Whereby British and
Foreign Orchids are Fertilized by Insects, and on the Good Effects of
Intercrossing, 1877). Alfred Russel Wallace had also predicted its
existence in Quarterly Journal of Science (1867). In 1903, this
subspecies, with a 12-inch coiled tongue, was discovered as
Agra calamitas Erwin, 1986 (carabid) after the
destruction befalling its native forest.
Brookesia desperata and
B. tristis Glaw et al. 2012 (tiny
chameleons) So named because their little remaining habitat in
Madigascar is threatened (tristis means "sad"). In contrast,
Brookesia confidens lives in a
well-protected reserve. [PLoS ONE 7(2)]
Cyprinodon inmemoriam Lozano & Contreras,
1993 (Cachoritto de la Trinidad pupfish) recently
Drepanis funerea Newton, 1893 (black mamo)
Robert Perkins discovered this perching bird on the mountains of
Molokai, Hawaii 18 June 1893. Perkins proposed the name "funerea" to
Alfred Newton, the species describer. This was not only on account of
the birds somber jet black plummage, but because of "the sad fate that
too probably awaits the species". Fourteen years later, in June of
1907, a collector shot and killed the last three known birds.
Nepenthes extincta Jebb & Cheek (2014)
(pitcher plant) "[T]his species may already be extinct globally."
[Euro. J. Tax. 69: 14]
Navicula difficillimoides Hustedt 1957 and
N. difficillima Hustedt 1950 (diatoms)
Epithets refer to the extreme difficulty of identification.
Sinezona calumnior and
S. phenax Geiger, 2012 (sea snail) Both
specific epiteths refer to trickery and mischief, because the species
were so hard to figure out.
Blamada Lin & Holzschuh, 2013 (longhorn
beetle) "The generic name is an arbitrary combination of
letters." [Zootaxa 3640: 96]
Megachile pankus Bzdyk, 2012 (leafcutter
bee) "The species name 'pankus' is a nonsense combination."
[Zookeys 221: 53]
Last modified: .
All rights reserved.