Etymology: Named after People
Bufonaria borisbeckeri Parth, 1996 (bursid sea snail)
Etymology: "Ich widme die neue Art Boris Becker, dem meines Erachtens
größten deutschen Einzelsportler aller Zeiten."
[Spixiana 19(1): 129]
Mastophora dizzydeani Eberhard, 1984 (spider) Named
after a baseball player. The spider uses a sticky ball on the end of a
thread to catch its prey.
Albunea groeningi Boyko, 2002 (sand crab
(Crustacea: Anomura: Albuneidae)) named for Matt Groening, creator of
Campsicnemius charliechaplini Evenhuis, 1996
(dolichopodid fly) "Etymology: This species is named in honor of the
great silent movie comedian, Charlie Chaplin, because of the curious
tendency of this fly to die with its midlegs in a bandy-legged
position." [Bishop Mus. Occ. Pap. 0(45):54]
Cuspicephalus scarfi Martill and Etches,
2011 (pterosaur) Named for artist/cartoonist Gerald Scarfe,
whose caricatures mostly have very pointed noses.
Baeturia laureli and
B. hardyi de Boer, 1996 (cicadas)
Strigiphilus garylarsoni Clayton, ~1989 (owl
louse) "I considered this an extreme honor. Besides, I knew no one was
going to write and ask to name a new species of swan after me. You have
to grab these opportunities when they come along." - Gary
Serratoterga larsoni (Ecuadorian
butterfly) also after cartoonist Gary Larson.
Montypythonoides riversleighensis Smith & Plane, 1985
(fossil snake) The genus is no longer valid; this species is now called
Sula abbotti costelloi Steadman, Schubel & Pahlavan,
1988 (a subspecies of Abbot's booby, recently
Anatoma tobeyoides Geiger & Jansen,
2004 (snail) Named for American abstract expressionist painter
Mark Tobey, because the sculpture on the snail shell is reminiscent
of his work.
Effigia okeeffeae Nesbitt 2007.
(Archosaur) from Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, near where the artist
Georgia O'Keeffe lived.
Elysia manriquei (sea slug from Lanzarote)
Named in honor of artist Cesar Manrique "for the architecture and
colorful designs of its body"
Microchilo elgrecoi Bleszynski, 1966 (crambid
moth) After the Spanish painter El Greco. [Acta
Zool. Cracoviensia 11: 451]
Microchilo murilloi Bleszynski, 1966 (crambid
moth) After the Mexican painter Murillo (Dr. Atl). [Acta
Zool. Cracoviensia 11: 451]
Pseudoparamys cezannei Hartenberger, 1987
(Ischyromyidae, extinct rodent)
Raphaelana Girault (wasp)
Pseudocatharylla gioconda Bleszynski, 1964
(crambid moth) "Described from a unique female" and "very distinctive."
[Acta Zool. Cracoviensia 11: 683]
Aptostichus edwardabbeyi Bond 2012
(trapdoor spider) Named for author and environmentalist Edward
Aesopichthys Poplin & Lund, 2000 (fossil
actinopterygian fish) Named for Aesop.
Aligheria Girault (wasp) named for Dante
Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei Rich & Vickers-Rich,
2003 (Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Australia). Named
for sci-fi author Arthur C. Clark, who in 1956 emigrated to Ceylon/Sri
Lanka, formerly known as Serendib.
Arthurdactylus conandoylensis Frey & Martill, 1994
(Brazilian pterosaur) Named after Arthur Conan Doyle in honor of his
story The Lost World, which is set in jungle similar to where the
fossil was found, and in which a living pterosaur is brought back to
Draculoides bramstokeri Harvey & Humphreys, 1995
(schizomid) Bram Stoker was the author of Dracula.
Carlyleia Girault, 1916 (eulophid wasp) named
for Thomas Carlyle.
Crichtonsaurus Dong, 2002 (ankylosaur
dinosaur) Named after Jurassic Park author Michael
Cedrorestes crichtoni Gilpin et al., 2007
Bienosaurus crichtonii, 2000 [nomen nudum] (small
biped dinosaur) Named after Michael Crichton, but not published with a
description. Reassigned to B. lufengensis Dong,
Cyclocepahala casanova Ratcliffe and Cave,
2009 (scarab beetle) So named for the heart-shaped mark on its
Emersonella Girault, 1916 (eulophid wasp)
named for Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Goethaeana Girault, 1920 (eulophid wasp) named for
Johann Goethe. One species is
Podocyrtis goetheana (Haeckel), Riedel and
Sanfilippo, 1970 (Eocene diatom)
Ibyka Skog and Banks, 1973 (fossil plant)
"from the poet Ibykos whose murder was revealed by cranes. This plant
was only discovered because of quarrying operations [involving a
different sort of crane] for the construction of Gilboa
dam." [Amer. J. Bot. 60: 368.]
Keatsia Girault (wasp) named for poet John
Goniopholis kiplingi Andrade, 2011
(Cretaceous crocodile) in recognition of Rudyard Kipling's enthusiasm
for natural sciences.
Idiomacromerus longfellowi Girault, 1917
(torymid wasp) Named after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Ablerus longfellowi (wasp)
Livyatan melvillei Lambert et al. 2010
(fossil sperm whale) Named for the author of Moby Dick, which
book includes, in addition to its famous whale, a chapter on whale
(lycaenid butterfly) Named after Vladimir
Nabokov, himself an entomologist who studied butterflies in the same
subfamily. See also Names from Fictional
for butterfly names derived from Nabokov's
Plato Coddington, 1986 (spider)
Plutarchia Girault, 1925 (eurytomid wasp)
named for classical biographer Plutarch.
Richteria Girault, 1920 (mymarid wasp) named for
German humorist and novelist Jean Richter.
Sappho Reichenbach, 1849 (hummingbird)
Heliconius sapho (Drury 1782) (butterfly)
Both named for Sappho, the famous Greek poet.
Shakespearia Girault, 1928 (encyrtid
Legionella shakespearei Verma et al., 1992
Psephophorus terrypratchetti Köhler, 1995
fossil turtle) Terry Pratchett wrote a series of fantasy books set on a
world carried on the back of a giant turtle. [J. Royal
Soc. N.Z. 25:371
Tetramorium adamsi Hita Garcia & Fisher,
2012 (ant) Named for Douglas Adams, best known for "The
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series.
[Zootaxa 3592: 51]
Thoreauia Girault (wasp) named for Henry David
Beethovena Girault, 1932 (encyrtid
Mozartella beethoveni Girault, 1926 (encyrtid
Gnathia beethoveni Paul & Menzies, 1971
Bishopina mozarti Bonaduce, Masoli & Pugliese,
Fernandocrambus chopinellus Bleszynski, 1967
(crambid moth) [Acta Zool. Cracoviensia 12: 39]
Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum Mares, Braun, Barquez &
(Chalchalero Viscacha rat) "named for the
great Argentine folklore group, 'Los Chalchaleros,' in honor of their 52
years singing the traditional music of western Argengina, its habitats,
and its history." [Mares et al.,
2000. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University
Terebellides sepultura Garrafoni & Lana,
2003 (polychaete worm) Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal
Funkotriplogynium iagobadius Seeman & Walter, 1997
(mite) from Iago, "James" and badius, "brown," named after
James Brown, the King of Funk.
Milesdavis Lieberman, 1994 (trilobite)
[Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 0(223)
Gnathia marleyi Sikkel 2012 (parasitic
isopod) Named after reggae musician Bob Marley. "I named this
species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my
respect and admiration for Marley's music. Plus, this species is as
uniquely Caribbean as was Marley."
Agra beegees Erwin (ground
Petula Clark, 1971 (tineid)
Mackenziurus johnnyi, M. joeyi, M. deedeei,
M. ceejayi Adrian and Edgecombe, 1997 (trilobites) Named after
Amphinema rollinsi Widmer, 2007 (jellyfish)
Henry Rollins was the lead singer of the seminal Punk Rock band Black
Anacroneuria carole and
A. taylori Stark, 2004 (stoneflies) Named
after Carole King and James Taylor, respectively.
Aptostichus bonoi Bond 2012 (trapdoor
spider) Named for the lead singer of the band U2.
Avalanchurus simoni and
A. garfunkeli Adrain & Edgecombe, 1997
Chiromantes garfunkel Davie & Ng, 2013
(Garfunkel's bright-eyed crab) Named for Art Garfunkel in tribute to
his song "Bright Eyes". [Zootaxa 3609:1]
Avalanchurus lennoni, A. starri Edgecombe &
Chatterton, 1993 (trilobites) Named for Beatles John Lennon and
Bushiella (Jugaria) beatlesi Rzhavsky, 1993
Greeffiella beatlei Lorenzen, 1969 (nematode)
Lorenzen doesn't state the etymology, but the worm's shagginess suggests
a Beatles haircut.
Struszia mccartneyi Edgecombe & Chatterton,
1993 (trilobite) for Paul McCartney.
Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae Lessard 2011
(horse fly) Named after singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles,
inspired by her hit single "Bootylicious" and the dense patch of
golden hairs on the fly's abdomen.
Elvisaurus Holmes, 1993 [nomen nudum]
(Antarctic dinosaur) so called for it's 'pompadour-like' crest. Now
Preseucoila imallshookupis Buffington, 2004
(gall wasp) The genus is named after Elvis Presley, the specific name
for one of his songs.
Aegrotocatellus jaggeri Adrain & Edgecombe, 1995
(trilobite) for Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. See also the genus etymology
Anomphalus jaggerius Plas, 1972 (fossil gastropod)
[J. of Paleo. 46: 249-260]
Perirehaedulus richardsi Adrain & Edgecombe, 1995
(trilobite) for Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
Arcticalymene viciousi, A. rotteni, A. jonesi, A. cooki,
A. matlocki Adrian and Edgecombe, 1997 (trilobites) for the
Sex Pistols. [J. Paleo. 71(4)]
Depressizona exorum Geiger, 2003 (snail)
named after the Dutch post-punk-white-noise band "The Ex". The band
later featured this snail on their CD "The Turn".
Dicrotendipes thanatogratus Epler, 1987 (chironomid)
From Gk "thanatos", dead, and Latin "gratus", grateful; after the
Cryptocercus garciai Burnside, Smith and Kambhampati,
1998 (wood roach) named for Grateful Dead lead singer Jerry
Garcia. [WWW J. of Biol. 4-1] (There's also an asteroid named Garcia,
shortly after his death.)
Gaga germanotta Li et al., 2012 (fern)
Named after Lady Gaga "because of her fervent defense of equality and
individual expression." Lady Gaga's given name is Stefani
Germanotta. Another species in the genus,
Gaga monstraparva, honors Lady Gaga's
fans, whom see calls "little monsters." [Syst. Bot. 37:
Aleiodes gaga Butcher et al. 2012 (braconid
wasp) "in honour of popular singer and performer Stefani Joanne
Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga".
Heteropoda davidbowie P. Jaeger, 2009
(large Malaysian spider) for singer David Bowie.
Hyla stingi Kaplan, 1994 (Columbian tree frog) Named
after the British rock star Sting in recognition of his work for the
Kalloprion kilmisteri Eriksson 2006 (fossil
polychaete) Named after Lemmy Kilmister of the heavy metal band
Macrocarpaea dies-viridis J.R. Grant, 2007
(gentian) for the punk rock group Green Day. [Harvard Papers
in Biology 11: 129.]
Masiakasaurus knopfleri Sampson, 2001 (theropod
dinosaur) Named after Dire Straits singer/songwriter Mark Knopfler.
Sampson said, "Whenever we played Dire Straits in the quarry, we found
more Masiakasaurus, and when we played something else, we didn't."
Knopfler replied, "The fact that it's a dinosaur is certainly apt, but
I'm happy to report that I'm not in the least bit vicious." ("Masiaka"
is Malagasy for "vicious.")
Mercurana Abraham et al. 2013 (tree frog)
Commemorating Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock band Queen, who
spent much of his childhood in Panchgani, India, where the frog was
discovered. [Zootaxa 3640: 177.]
Cirolana mercuryi N. Bruce, 2004 (East African
isopod) Named for Freddy Mercury, "arguably Zanzibar's most famous
popular musician and singer."
Taeniopteryx mercuryi Fochetti & Paolo
Nicolai, 1996 (stonefly) Also for Freddy Mercury.
Mesoparapylocheles michaeljacksoni Klompmaker
et. al. 2012 (fossil hermit crab) discovered on the same day
that the researchers learned of pop superstar Michael Jackson's death,
and named in his honor.
Metallichneumon neurospastarchus Wahl and Sime,
2002 (ichneumonid wasp) "Neurospastarchus" translates as "Master of
Puppets," which is the seminal album by the thrash metal band Metallica.
The name refers to the larval ichneumonid's manipulation of its host
Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi Bond and Platnick, 2007
(trap-door spider) for rock musicial Neil Young [Am. Mus. Novitates
Orectochilus orbisonorum Miller, Mazzoldi &
Wheeler, 2008 (whirligig beetle) Named for singer Ray
Orbison and his widow Barbara. It's tuxedo-like elegant appearance is
one reason for the naming.
Pseudocorinna brianeno Jocque & Bosselaers,
2011 (spider) after the musican Brian Eno.
Qiliania graffini Ji et al., 2011
(Cretaceous entiornithine bird) Named for Greg Graffin, a
paleontologist and member of the punk rock group Bad Religion, at the
suggestion of coauthor Jingmai O'Connor, a longtime fan of the
Villa manillae Evenhuis, 1993 (bee fly)
Inspired by Millie Vanillie. [Idesia 12:19]
Xanthosomnium froesei Sime and Wahl, 2002
(ichneumonid wasp) "Xanthosomnium" is a translation of the synth band
Tangerine Dream. The species is "named after Edgar Froese, the founder
and continuity behind Tangerine Dream."
Vunicothoe Boyko 2009 (copepod) From
Nicothe, an existing copepod genus (named, incidentally, for a
harpie from Greek myth), plus VU for Velvet Underground, in homage to
the 1967 album "The Velvet Underground and Nico" [Proc. of the
Biol. Soc. of Wash. 122: 206]
Zappa (Roberts), 1989
(goby) "in honour of Frank Zappa for
his articulate and sagacious defense of the First Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution." [Rec. of Austrl. Museum
suppl 11: 53] Murdy,
who renamed the genus,
, "I like his music."
Amaurotoma zappa Plas, 1972 (fossil gastropod) [J.
Paleo. 46: 249-260]
Oenonites zappae Eriksson 1997 (fossil
Pachygnatha zappa Bosmans and Bosselaers,
1994 (orb-weaver spider) It has a black marking under its abdomen
curiously reminiscent (at least to Bosmans and Bosselaers) of Frank
Phialella zappai Boero, 1987
Named as part of Ferdinando Boero's plan to get to meet Frank Zappa.
"There is nothing I'd like better than having a jellyfish named after
me" - Frank Zappa. (details
[J. Nat. Hist.
There is also an asteroid named "3834 Zappafrank" ("16745 Zappa" is
named after astronomer Giovanni Zappa.)
Agra catbellae Erwin, 2002 (ground beetle)
Named for Catherine Bell, actress in the TV program "JAG", because the
beetles share the forest with jaguars.
Agra katewinsletae Erwin, 2002 (ground
beetle) For actress Kate Winslet, "starlet of the movie Titanic. Her
character did not go down with the ship, but we will not be able to
say the same for this elegant canopy species, if all the rain forest
is converted to pastures." [Zootaxa 119: 1-68.]
Agra liv Erwin, 2002 (carabid) "The first
name of the actress Liv Tyler, starlet of the movie, Armageddon. The
existence of this species of elegant beetle is dependent upon the
rainforest not undergoing an Armageddon ..."
Agra schwarzeneggeri Erwin, 2002 (carabid)
"The family name of the actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in reference to
the markedly developed (biceps-like) middle femora of the males of
this species reminiscent of the actor's physique."
Aptostichus angelinajolieae Bond, 2008
(trapdoor spider) after actress Angelina Jolie.
Attenborosaurus Bakker, 1993 (plesiosaur) "in
honor of the naturalist and filmmaker David Attenborough, whose
childhood fascination with Liassic plesiosaurs sparked a brilliant
career in scientific journalism."
Agapornis attenboroughi Manegold
2013 (Pliocene parrot)
Ctenocheloides attenboroughi Anker, 2010
Materpiscis attenboroughi 2008 (Devonian
fish) Sir David Attenborough drew attention to the site of the fossil
on his "Life on Earth" series. The type specimen was preserved giving
birth, hence the genus name, which means "mother fish." [Nature
Nepenthes attenboroughii Robinson et al.,
2009 (giant pitcher plant) from the highlands of central
Philippines. Named for Sir David Attenborough.
Prethopalpus attenboroughi Baehr & Harvey,
2012 (goblin spider)
Zaglossus attenboroughi Flannery and Groves
1998 (long-beaked echidna from New Guinea) Named after well-known
wildlife presenter David Attenborough. It is known from only one
specimen collected in 1961 and may now be extinct. [Mammalia,
Avahi cleesei 2005 (woolly lemur) Named for
actor/comedian John Cleese, who played a lemur-happy zookeeper in the
film Fierce Creatures, hosted a documentary on lemurs, and is
concerned with wildlife conservation.
Baru darrowi Willis , Murray and Megirian, 1990
(Miocene semi-aquatic crocodylian from Australia) Honoring Paul
Darrow, British actor "best known for his role in the television
series 'Blake's Seven', in recognition of his support of continuing
palaeontological investigation of the Riversleigh deposits"
[Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29, 522.] Baru is an
aboriginal name for a crocodile ancestor.
Calponia harrisonfordi Platnick, 1993 (caponiid spider)
Named after Harrison Ford in appreciation of his narrating a
Coloborhynchus spielbergi Veldmeijer 2003
(pterosaur) Honoring Steven Spielberg, director of the "Jurassic Park"
Harryhausenia Boyko, 2004 (fossil sand crab
(Crustacea: Anomura: Albuneidae)) for movie animator Ray Harryhausen
(7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, etc.). He animated a
sand crab for the movie "The Mysterious Island."
Hydroscapha redfordi Maier et al. 2010 (beetle) Named
for Robert Redford, who played Jeremiah Johnson, whom the authors
(mistakenly) believed was the source of the name of the Jerry Johnson
Hot Springs where the beetle was discovered, but also for his support
of conservation in the Rocky Mountains. [Coleopterists Bulletin
Pheidole harrisonfordi Wilson, 2002 (ant)
Named in recognition of Harrison Ford's involvement (as Vice Chairman)
in Conservation International.
Norasaphus monroeae Fortey (trilobite)
after Marilyn Monroe; it has an hourglass shaped glabella.
Orsonwelles othello, O. macbeth, O. falstaffius, O.
ambersonorum Hormiga, 2002 (giant Hawaiian linyphiid
spiders). These species are named after famous Orson Welles
roles. Hormiga named the genus after Welles because he was a giant
Orsonwelles bellum, O. malas, O. toledus
Hormiga, 2002 (linyphiid spiders). Named in reference to famous
Orson Welles works -- "The War of the Worlds", "Touch of Evil", and
"Citizen Kane", respectively.
Rostropria garbo Early (diapriid wasp)
Described from "a solitary female".
Utahraptor spielbergi Bonar, Lassieur, McCafferty &
Voci, ~1992 [nomen nudum] (theropod dinosaur) Named
after Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg. The raptors in
the movie were larger than any then known, until this raptor was
announced the week the movie premiered. Apparently, it was not
adequately described in the rush to name it. Reassigned
to U. ostrommaysorum Kirkland, Gaston & Burge,
Honorifics naming scientists who have done some work related to the
organism named after them are too numerous to mention. These
stand out from that crowd.
Astraptes viracocha Brower 2010 (skipper
butterfly) "The name viracocha, a noun in apposition, is the
name of a bearded white god of the Incas. The species is named for Dan
Janzen." [Syst. Biodivers. 8: 486]
Bobkabata kabatabobbus Hogans & Benz, 1990
(parasitic copepod) Named after parasitologist Bob Kabata.
Cartwrightia cartwrighti Cartwright, 1967 (scarab
beetle) Islas established the genus in 1958 in honor of coleopterist
Oscar L. Cartwright, who later named this species for his
Carukia barnesi Southcott, 1967
because the research that earned Dr. Jack Barnes the honorific also
earned him a Darwin Award
Chrysina cavei Hawks & Bruyea, 1999
(scarab) Named after collaborator and friend Ronald Cave, who was
always cold when working in the cloud forests. Hawks said, "This
species' blue tarsi remind me of Ron's perpetual cold feet!"
Dransfieldia (palm) and
Soejatmia (grass). The only husband and
wife botanists who both have plant genera named in their honor are John
Dransfield and Soejatmi Dransfield.
Euphorbia ballyana Rauh, 1966, E. ballyi
Carter, 1963, and E. proballyana Leach, 1968
(African plants) Three species in one genus named for the same person,
botanist Peter R.O. Bally.
Gomphonema lange-bertalotii Reichardt and
Gomphonema reichardtii Lange-Bertalot
(diatoms) Taxonomists honoring each other within the same
Hoia hoi Avdeev & Kazatchenko, 1986 (parasitic copepod)
Named after Ju-Shey Ho.
Navicula austrocollegarum Lange-Bertalot &
R.Voigt (diatom) To honor all the austrian colleagues of the
Roloffia (Roloffia) roloffi roloffi (Roloff, 1936)
(freshwater fish) The fish had this designation only for a while. It
was originally Aphyosemion roloffi Roloff 1936, and is now in
genus Scriptaphyosemion. [Wochenschrift Aquar.-Terr.
33(25): 387] (Roloff also named Rivulus roloffi after himself
[1938, Wochenschrift Aquar.-Terr. 35: 597.)
Solanum baretiae Tepe, Ridley, and Bohs,
2012 (understory vine) Jeanne Baret, in 1766 when French law
prohibited women aboard naval vessels, disguised herself as a man to
work with botanist Philibert Commerson on a three-year expedition
commanded by Louis Antoine de Bougainville. An accomplished botanist
in her own right, she also became the first woman to circumnavigate
Tessmannianthus quadridomius Wurdack, 1989
(flowering plant: Melastomataceae) Dr. José Cuatrecasas, a
botanist at the Smithsonian, was an important collector of plants in
Colombia and had many species named after him, all of them
"cuatrecasasii". When a colleague wanted to make an original tribute,
he translated "Cuatrecasas" ("four houses" in English) into Latin,
hence "quadridomius." [Revista Acad. Colomb. Ci. Exact.
Thiara carolitaciturni (snail) Named after
the Dutch zoologist Karel Dammerman, who was famous among his
colleagues for being shy and retiring, i.e., taciturn.
These species are named for other famous scientists.
Archimedes Lesueur, 1842 (bryozoan with a corkscrew
Brahea Mart. (palm) Named for Danish
astronomer Tycho Brahe.
Celsia Linnaeus (Mediterranean subshrub) Named
after the Celsius to whom the centigrade thermometer is credited, who
was also an amateur botanist and a mentor to Linnaeus. In Celsius's
original scale, water freezes at 100 and boils at zero. Linnaeus
himself was the first to propose the inverted scale that we use
Copernicia (palm) After the astronomer
Crikey steveirwini Stanisic, 2009 (land
snail) In honor of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and his famous
catch-cry. [Zootaxa 2206: 62]
Trypanosoma irwini McInnes et. al. 2009
(trypanosome) named after Steve Irwin.
Dawkinsia Pethiyagoda et al. 2012 (cyprinid
fish) Named for Richard Dawkins.
[Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 23: 69.]
Cyclocephala freudi Endrödi, 1963
Lepithrix freudi Schein, 1959 (scarab)
Conyza montigena var. fosseyae Beentje, 2002
(Compositae) after Dian Fossey, of gorilla fame, who collected the
Gaussia H. Wendl. (palm) honoring German
mathematician Karl Friedrich Gauss. (Also an asteriod, 1001
Haeckeliania Girault, 1912 (trichogrammatid
wasp) named for Ernst Haeckel.
Hippocratea (tropical vine) and its family
Hippocrateaceae, named after Hippocrates.
Leonardo davincii Bleszynski, 1965 (pyralid
Janibacter hoylei (bacterium) named after
astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. The bacterium was found in the upper
Linnaea borealis Gronovius (twinflower)
Linnaeus wrote, "Linnaea . . . is a plant of Lapland, lowly,
insignificant, disregarded, flowering but for a brief space -- from
Linnaeus who resembles it." It was mock modesty; Linnaeus arranged for
the plant to be named for him.
Megachile chomskyi Sheffield, 2013
(leafcutter bee) Named for linguist Noam Chomsky.
Pasteurella (plague bacterium) Named for
French chemist Louis Pasteur.
Phalacrocorax aristotelis (L., 1761)
(European shag) named for Aristotle.
Rothschildia Grote, 1896 (saturniid moth)
According to Steve Jones in Almost Like a Whale (1999), renowned
19th century naturalist Lord Walter Rothschild (founder of the Tring
Museum) has 153 insects, 58 birds, 18 mammals, 3 fish, 3 spiders, 2
reptiles, 1 millipede and 1 worm named after him.
Silurus aristotelis (Agassiz, 1857)
(Aristotle's catfish) Named after Aristotle, who was the first to
describe the reproductive behavior of this endemic Greek
Thomashuxleya Ameghino, 1901 (Eocene
Wallacea darwini Hill, 1919 (stratiomyid fly)
There are more than 120 species (and 9 genera) named after Darwin. This
species is named also after Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discover of the
theory of evolution.
Wodyetia bifurcata (foxtail palm) named
after Wodyeti, last aboriginal to live in the Melville Range area in
Queensland, Australia, and last to hold the traditional native knowledge
of the area.
Brachypanorpa sacajawea Byers, 1990 (Rocky
Mountain scorpionfly) named for Lewis and Clark's guide and
Clarkia Pursh (flower, Onagraceae) for
Captain William Clark.
Doronomyrmex pocahontas Buschinger 1979 (ant)
Named for Princess Matoaka, precocious daughter of Chief Powhatan who
served as a bridge between the Native Americans and the English
settlers of Jamestown. She is better known by her father's nickname
for her, Pocahontas, which means "little mischievous one." The ant,
from Alberta, Canada, is a threatened species.
Agathidium pocahontasae Miller and Wheeler, 2005
(slime mold beetle) Named for a county in Virginia which was named for
Pocahontas. [Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 291.]
Lewisia (bitterroot) for Meriwether
Mammuthus columbi Falconer, 1857 (Columbian
mammoth) Named after Christopher Columbus. It was widespread in southern
North America in the late Pleistocene.
Buddhaites Diener, 1895 (mollusk)
Barilius buddhae Fowler, 1934 (cyprinid
fish) "found near a cave sacred to Buddha".
Confucius Distant, 1907 (bug)
Confuciusornis sanctus Hou, Zhou, Gu, and Gang,
1995 (feathered dinosaur) "holy Confucius' bird".
Tianyulong confuciusi Zheng et al., 2009
(Chinese Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur)
Dalailama Staudinger, 1896 (bombycid moth)
Dalai-Lama C. Mereschkowsky 1906
Orontobia dalailama De Freina, 1997 (tiger
moth) from Tibet. "Origo nominis: la nouvelle espèce est dédiée au chef
spirituel et politique du peuple tibétain actuellement opprimé: sa
Sainteté le Dalai Lama."
Kerygmachela kierkegaardi Budd, 1998 (Cambrian
Lutheria Girault (wasp) named for Martin
Marxella Girault, 1932 (encyrtid wasp) named
for Karl Marx.
Petrochirus diogenes (caribbean hermit crab)
for the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope.
Socratea (palm) Named after Socrates.
Zanabazar Norell et al., 2009 (troodontid
dinosaur from Mongolia) Named in honor of Zanabazar, first spiritual
head of Tibetan Buddhism in Outer Mongolia.
Agathidium bushi, A. cheneyi and
A. rumsfeldi Miller and Wheeler, 2005
(slime mold beetles) Named after the U.S. president, vice president, and
Agathidium cortezi Miller and Wheeler
(slime mold beetle) for conquistador Hernan Cortez, conquerer of the
Aztec empire and colonial administrator of New Spain.
Allendia Noonan, 1974 (carabid) Named after Chilean
president Salvador Allende.
Anolis (Xiphosurus) roosevelti Grant, 1931
(lizard) from Puerto Rico; possibly extinct. It is named in honor of
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., who was then governor of Puerto
Anophthalmus hitleri Scheibel, 1933 (blind cave beetle)
Named by an amateur entomologist admirer of the Fürher (though
Dutch biologist/writer Midas Dekkers suggests that naming a blind cave
beetle after Hitler was an attempt to ridicule him). It is found in
only five Slovenian caves and is endangered by collectors of Hitler
memorabilia. [Entomologische Blätter 33: 438]
Roechlingia hitleri Guthörl, 1934 (paleodictyopteran)
See Canad. J. Zool. 61:1684-86 for discussion of appropriateness
of the name. That article considers it a junior synonym of Sclepasma
gigas Handlirsch, 1911.
Aptostichus chavezi Bond 2012 (trapdoor
spider) Named for labor and civil rights activist César
Arsinoetherium (Oligocene ungulate) Named
for the Egyptian-Ptolemaic queen Arsinoe near whose palace the first
remains were found.
Caligula (saturniid moth)
Crinopseudoa caligula Jocqué &
Cleopatrodon Bown and Simons, 1987 (Eocene
mammal from Egypt) named after Cleopatra.
Cheguevaria Kazantsev, 2006 (firefly) "The
new genus is named after E. 'Che' Guevara, the legendary Latin
American revolutionary, very popular in the Caribbean
region." [Russian Entomol. J. 5(4): 367-392.]
Crocidura attila Dollman, 1915 (Hun shrew)
Crocidura roosevelti Heller, 1910
(Roosevelt's shrew) from Africa; named after Theodore Roosevelt.
Also named after Teddy:
Cervus canadensis roosevelti (Roosevelt or
Olympic elk) The largest surviving North American elk
Muntiacus rooseveltorum Osgood, 1932 (Laotian
barking deer) discovered by one of Theodore Roosevelt's sons on a 1929
hunting trip, and named for the president.
Pheidole (Electropheidole) roosevelti Mann,
1921 (Roosevelt's ant) from Fiji.
Stenomorpha roosevelti Smith, Miller &
Wheeler 2010 (darkling beetle) named in Teddy Roosevelt's honor
on the 100th anniversary of a speech he gave at Tempe Normal School,
now Arizona State University.
Dasyurus spartacus Van Dyck, 1987 (bronze
Diamphipnoa colberti Stark, 2008 (stonefly)
for Stephen Colbert, of The Colbert Report. [Illiesia
Agaporomorphus colberti Wheeler & Miller,
2009 (diving beetle) Wheeler said, "Last year, Stephen
shamelessly asked the science community to name something cooler than
a spider to honor him. His top choices were a giant ant or a laser
lion. While those would be cool species to discover, our research
involves beetles, and they are 'way cooler' than a spider any
Aptostichus stephencolberti Bond & Stockman
2008 (trapdoor spider)
Equus grevyi Oustalet 1882 (Grevy's zebra)
Named after Jules Grevy (1807-1891), president of France from 1879-1887.
The president of Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) sent the type specimen to
France in 1882, the first zebra seen in Europe since Roman
E. gore, and
E. obama Layman & Mayden,
2012 (darters) Named after former and current U.S. leaders who
have worked to promote conservation and environmental
protection. [Bull. Alabama Mus. Nat. Hist. 30: 1.]
Gazella bilkis Groves & Lay, 1985 (gazelle, recently
extinct) for King Solomon's paramour Bilkis, the Queen of Sheba. The
gazelle came from Yemen, which may have been Sheba.
Franklinia Bartram, ~1770 (tree, Theaceae)
Named after Ben Franklin. Extinct in the wild shortly after its
discovery when the one grove of the trees (on the Altamaha R., GA) was
cleared for farmland, but the Bartrams preserved seeds, and the tree
is now a widespread ornamental.
Gentiana L., 1753 (gentian) The genus is the
Greek name of the plant, which comes from Gentius, the last king of
Illyria, who reputedly discovered its medicinal properties.
Glaucopsyche xerces Boisduval, 1852 (Xerces
blue butterfly) an extinct butterfly from the coastal sand dunes of
San Francisco. The Xerces name derives from the French spelling of
Xerxes, the name of two Persian kings of the fifth century
Godiva MacNae, 1954 (nudibranch) Yes, the
"nud-" in nudibranch means naked.
Grimaldichthys profondissimus Roule, 1913 (deep sea
Grimalditeuthis bonplandi Joubin, 1898 (transparent
Lepidoteuthis grimaldii Joubin, 1895 (squid) Named
after the Grimaldi family, reigning house of Monaco. His Serene
Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco was an amateur teuthologist who
pioneered the study of deep sea squids by collecting the 'precious
regurgitations' of sperm whales. He collected the first two himself,
G. profondissimus by trawling at a depth of 19,800 feet (a
fishing depth record at the time). L. grimaldii was first
collected from the stomach contents of a whale.
Grotiusomyia Girault, 1917 (eulophid wasp)
Named for Hugo Grotius, Dutch jurist, statesman and codifier of
Harpagus Vigors, 1824 (tropical American
kite) Named for the Median general Harpagus.
Horaglanis abdulkalami (catfish) Honoring
former Indian president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for his contributions
to science and science education.
Hyloscirtus princecharlesi Coloma, 2012
(Prince Charles stream tree frog) from Ecuador, honoring Prince
Charles for his efforts towards rainforest conservation.
Jeffersonia (L.) Pers., 1792 (twinleaf) Named
when Thomas Jefferson was Secretary of State. The citation stated that
"in botany and zoology, the information of this gentleman is equalled by
few persons in the United States."
Chesapectin jeffersonius 1842 (Late
Miocene/Early Pliocene scallop) The Virginia state fossil and the
first North American fossil illustrated in a scientific publication,
Martin Lister's 1687 Historiae Conchyliorum.
Mammuthus jeffersonii Osborn, 1922 (mammoth)
Named after Thomas Jefferson.
Megalonyx jeffersonii Desmarest, 1822 (ground sloth)
Thomas Jefferson acquired a "great claw" from a West Virginia cave and,
in 1796, his letter about it was read at the American Philosophical
Society meeting. (Jefferson thought it was a lion.) This is the
earliest record of American vertebrate paleontology. Jefferson asked
Lewis and Clark to look for a living Megalonyx on their expedition. By
then, more complete remains had shown it was not a lion, but he still
didn't know its great age.
Jenghizkhan Olshevsky vide Olshevsky, Ford &
Yamamoto, 1995 (Mongolian tyrannosaurid) named for Genghis Khan.
(now syn. with Tarbosaurus)
Jubaea (palm) named after king Juba II of
Mauretania (82 BC - 23 AD), writer of some books on natural history,
possibly first explorer of Madeira and the Canary Islands, and married
to Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
Euphorbia regis-jubae Webb and Berthelott
(medicinal plant), one of Juba's discoveries, is also named after
Khruschevia ridicula Flower (worm) Named by
its discoverer Rousseau H. Flower to show his dislike of former Soviet
Premier Nikita Khruschev and the Communist Party in
Lincolna Girault (pteromalid wasp) named for
Mandelia Valdes & Gosliner, 1999 (sea slug) in honor
of Nelson Mandela, who led the struggle for multiracial government in
South Africa. Also named for him:
Anelosimus nelsoni I. Agnarsson, 2006
Australopicus nelsonmandelai Manegold et
al. 2012 (early Pliocene woodpecker) "a sort of scientific
present for his 94th birthday."
Singafrotypa mandela Kuntner & Hormiga,
Stasimopus mandelai Hendrixson & Bond,
2004 (trapdoor spider)
Mitra kamehameha Pilsbry, 1921 (Indo-Pacific
marine mollusc) Named for King Kamehameha I, who unified the Hawaiian
islands and presided over the opening of Hawaii to the rest of the
Maotherium Rougier, Ji, and Novacek, 2003 (Cretaceous
symmetrodont mammal from China). Named for Communist revolutionary and
leader Mao Tse-Deng.
Maxillaria gorbatchowii (Bolivian orchid)
Named after Mikhail Gorbachev.
Napoleonaea imperialis (bromeliad)
Obamadon Longrich et al., 2012 (Cretaceous
Aptostichus barackobamai Bond 2012
(trapdoor spider) Obama is a reputed fan of Spiderman
Caloplaca obamae Knudsen, 2009 (lichen) Knudsen
wrote the manuscript between Obama's 2008 election and his
inauguration, honoring him for "his support of science and scientific
Paragordius obamai Hanelt et al., 2012
(hairworm) Named after president Barack Obama, whose father was raised
near its type locality in Kenya. [PLoS ONE 7(4)]
Ornithoptera alexandrae Rothschild, 1907
(Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly) This New Guinea butterfly is the
world's largest. It is named after Alexandra of Denmark, Queen
Consort to England's Edward VII and Empress of India.
Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum Fiorillo &
Tykoski, 2011 (ceratopsid dinosaur) Named for H. Ross Perot,
Margot Perot, and their family, for their long support of science and
Paroxyna cleopatra Hering, 1937 (fruit fly)
named for the Egyptian queen; now synonymized with
P. messalina , named for Roman empress
Messalina, third wife of Claudius I.
Parides montezuma (swallowtail) for Aztec
Pinus montezumae (Mexican pine)
Xiphophorus montezumae Jordan & Snyder,
1899 (Montezuma swordtail)
Pundamilia nyererei (Lake Victoria
cichlid) Named for Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, one of Africa's great
Rooseveltia frankliniana O.F. Cook (palm) The genus is
now regarded as a synonym of Euterpe, and the species is now
sunk into E. macrospadix. Named after Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, who, for the Presidential Cruise of 1938, a 24-day cruise
beginning July 16, brought along a naturalist (Waldo Schmitt) and made
fourteen collection stops in territories of Mexico, France, Ecuador,
Costa Rica, and Colombia. Other species named for the cruise
Callyspongia roosevelti Van Soest, Kaiser &
Van Syoc, 2011 (sponge) First gathered on a 1938 Pacific
expedition made possible by FDR. [Zootaxa 2839]
Conus roosevelti Bartsch & Rehder,
1939 (mollusc) (Synonym of C. tiaratus G. B. Sowerby
Marginella roosevelti Bartsch & Rehder,
1939 (mollusc) (Synonym of Prunum amabile (Redfield,
Neanthes roosevelti Hartman, 1939
Neomegamphopus roosevelti Shoemaker, 1942
Octopus roosevelti Stuart, 1941
(octopus) (Synonym of O. oculifer Hoyle, 1904)
Peasiella roosevelti Bartsch & Rehder,
1939 (mollusc) (Synonym of Echinolittorina porcata
Pycnomma roosevelti Ginsburg,
1939. (Roosevelt's goby)
Siriella roosevelti W. Tattersall, 1941
(mysid crustacean; opposum shrimp)
Terebra roosevelti Bartsch & Rehder,
1939 (mollusc) (Synonym of Oxymeris maculata (Linnaeus,
Rotaovula hirohitoi Cate and Azuma, 1973
(rare marine mollusc) named for Michinomiya Hirohito, Emporer of Japan
and marine biologist whose specific interests included hydroids and
dominion over Asia.
Scipionyx dal Sasso & Signore, 1998 Named for Scipio
Africanus. This is the first dinosaur found in Italy (and the first
with fossilized internal organs).
Sequoia (redwood) named after Sequoyah,
Cherokee chief and inventer of the Cherokee written language. (It is
also one of the shortest words with all five vowels.)
Sirindhorn thailandiensis (princess moth)
Named after Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand. Other
species named after her are:
Acanthosquilla sirindhorn 1995 (panda
Bauhinia sirindhorniae 1997 (sam sip song pra
dong, a legume vine),
Loxosomatoides sirindhornae 2005
Macrobrachium sirindhorn 2001 (freshwater
Magnolia sirindhorniae (Princess
Phricotelphusa sirindhorn 1989 (panda crab),
Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae 1994
Pseudochelidon sirintarae Kitti 1968
(white-eyed river martin),
Streptocephalus sirindhornae 2000
(Anostraca, freshwater fairy shrimp),
Tarsius sirindhornae Chaimanee, Lebrun, Yamee, and
Jaeger, 2011 (middle Miocene tarsier),
Trigona sirindhornae (bee);
Thepparatia thailandica Phuph., 2006
(Malvaceae) Thepparat is her royal title.
Spartacus (leaf bug)
Strelitzia reginae Aiton, ~1773
(bird-of-paradise plant) Named for England's Queen Charlotte Sophia
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of Mad King George III. She took a marked
interest in botany, generously sponsored the gardens at Kew, including
expeditions and publications, and was a decent botanical illustrator
Tecunumania Standley & Steyermark (wild
gourd) named after Tecún Umán, Mayan general who was
defeated by Pedro de Alvarado in the conquest of Guatemala.
Thysania agrippina Cramer, 1776 (owlet
moth) Named for Julia Vipsania Agrippina, one of the most prominent
women in the Roman Empire in the early 1st century.
Vanessa tameamea Eschscholtz, 1878
(Kamehameha butterfly, the state insect of Hawaii) The specific name
is an old-fashioned and partially wrong transcription of "Kamehameha",
a dynasty of Hawaiian kings. (Hawaiian does not distinguish between
the /t/ and /k/ sounds, but the /h/ is pronounced and should be in the
Victoria 1838 (Victoria water lily) for the
Washingtonia (fan palm) after president
Xenopsylla cheopsis (Oriental rat flea;
vector of Plague) Named for the pharaoh Cheops, whose tomb is the
Xiphophorus nezahualcoyotl Rauchenberger, Kallman
& Morizot, 1990 (mountain swordtail) A fish named for the
15th-century Nahuan poet and ruler Nezahualcoyotl.
Zenaida Bonaparte, 1838 (dove) Named for
Zénaïde Laetitia Julie Bonaparte, Princess of Canino and
Musignano, niece of Napoleon Bonaparte. The name's author was
Zénaïde's husband (and cousin), ornithologist Charles
Apistogramma mendezi Römer 1994
(cichlid) Named for rubber tapper and rainforest defender Chico Mendes,
but misspelled. [Aqua, J. Ichthy. Aquat. Biol. 1(1):
Aptostichus pennjillettei Bond 2012
(trapdoor spider) Named for illusionist and intellectual Penn
Blighia Koenig (tropical akee fruit) Named
after Captain Bligh of the H. M. S. Bounty, who brought it to
the West Indies as food for slaves.
Bobbichthys (fossil fish)
Carnegiea Britton & Rose (saguaro
cactus) Named for steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew
Dasykaluta rosamondae (Ride 1964) (kaluta, an
Australian "marsupial mouse") It has reddish fur and was discovered on a
sheep farm called Woodstock Station living in prickly spinifex bushes.
It was named after the King Henry II's red-headed mistress Rosamond, who
was kept locked in the Royal Manor of Woodstock surrounded by a maze of
Echinobothrium dougbermani Caira et al.
2013 (tapeworm) This guitarfish parasite is named after Doug
Berman, most noted as producer of NPR's "Car Talk".
[Comp. Parasit. 80: 22]
Elseya irwini Cann 1997 (Irwin's turtle)
for Steve and Bob Irwin, who discovered the species in the Burdekin
River in 1990. Steve was best known as 'the Crocodile Hunter' on TV but
did a lot of good herpetological work. Bob is his father. [Journal
of the Victorian Herpetological Society 9(1)]
Eristalis alleni Thompson, 1997 (flower
fly) for Microsoft founder Paul Allen.
Eristalis gatesi Thompson, 1997 (flower fly)
Named after Bill Gates "in recognition of his great contributions" to
dipterology, presumably referring to money, not to bugs of another
Geoballus caputalbus Crabill, 1969 (millipede) Named
after its collectors, George Ball and Donald Whitehead.
Gretchena delicatana, G. dulciana, G. amatana,
G. concubitana Heinrich, 1923 (moths) named by taxonomist Carl
Heinrich after his love interest(?) Gretchen; the names are derived, in
order, from "delicate", "sweet", "beloved", "lying together".
Malo kingi Gershwin, 2007 (jellyfish) Named after
Robert King, and American tourist who died in Australia after being
stung by it.
Neoperla teresa Stark, 2008 (stonefly) after
Teresa Heinz Kerry, environmentalist, philanthropist, and wife of
presidential candidate John Kerry.
Pectinivalva (Casanovula) Hoare, 2013
(moth) The subgenus is named "after the famous Italian adventurer and
philanderer Giacomo Casanova, in reference to the unusual sexual
ornamentation of the males of some species." [ZooKeys
Pheidole mooreorum Wilson, 2002 (ant) named
after Gordon Moore and his wife for their environmental philanthropy.
Moore, founder of Intel, is famous for expounding Moore's Law, about
exponential growth of computing power.
Sylvilagus palustris hefneri Lazell, 1984
(Lower Keys marsh rabbit) An endangered rabbit named after Playboy
founder Hugh Hefner. Lazell received financial help from the Playboy
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