Etymology: Named after Places
Amblyoproctus boondocksius Ratcliffe, 1988 (scarab)
found in the middle of nowhere.
Ambondro mahabo Flynn & Wyss (Jurassic
mammal) named for the Madagascan village of Ambondromahabo.
Apolysis humbugi Evenhuis, 1985 (bombyliid
fly) From Humbug Creek, CA.
Oligodranes humbug Evenhuis, 1985 (bombyliid fly)
Another from Humbug Creek.
Aptostichus asmodaeus Bond 2012
(trapdoor spider) Named Asmodeus, a king of demons, in reference to
the type locality, Mount Diablo State Park.
Asiamericana asiatica Nessov, 1995 (fossil
Aspergillus hatcho (a mold used in making
miso) "Hatcho" is Japanese for "8th Street." In this case, the street
is in Okazaki, Aichi Province, home of Hatcho Miso Company, which has
made miso for five centuries.
Bajacalifornia Townsend & Nichols, 1925
Barwickia downunda Long, 1992 (Devonian
lungfish) The published etymology of "downunda" says only, "A
fortuitous collection of letters," but it is likely no coincidence
that the fossil was discovered in Australia by an Australian, the
genus named for an Australian (zoologist Richard Barwick), and the
description published in an Australian journal. [Records of the
Austr. Mus. 44: 299.]
"Capitalsaurus" (theropod dinosaur) In
1898, some dinosaur bone fragments were found in a sewer excavation in
the District of Columbia, too fragmentary for a confident
identification. After some doubtful assignments to other genera, the
fossil was named Capitalsaurus in 1990, and the name published
in scientific literature in 1998, but since the name was not
accompanied by a proper description, the name is still informal. It
has, however, become the official dinosaur of D.C., and the street
where it was discovered was renamed "Capitalsaurus Court."
Caulkicephalus 2005 (pterosaur) Found on the
Isle of Wright, where the inhabitants are informally known as
Dysnocryptus balthasar, D. gaspar, and
D. melchior Holloway, 1982 (weevils) from
Three Kings' Islands, New Zealand.
Gwyneddichtis gwyneddensis Bock, 1959 (fossil fish),
Gwyneddichnium gwyneddensis Bock (fossil reptile
footprints) both from the Gwynedd Formation at the Gwynedd Tunnel in
Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania.
Haasiophis terrasanctus Tchernov, Rieppel, Zaher,
Polcyn & Jacobs, 2000 (Lower Cretaceous marine snake) Named
after "holy land", as it was discovered in 'Ein Yabrud, Judean Hills,
Israel. It has tiny, well-developed, hind limbs, but there is no
indication it could talk.
Haitia (loosestrife relative) Named
for the country Haiti, where it was discovered -- one of few plant
genera named for a relatively small location.
Hylaeus emir Dathe, 2000 (bee) Named for the
United Arab Emirates, where it was discovered; its magnificient coloring
also suggests the country's emirs.
Kribbella catacumbae Urzì et
al. 2008 and
K. sancticallisti Urzì et al. 2008
(bacteria) named for the catacombs of Saint Callistus in Rome, where
they were discovered.
Lasioglossum gotham Gibbs, 2011 (bee)
Discovered in Brooklyn Botanic Garden and named after a nickname of
New York City made famous by Batman. [Zootaxa 3073: 1]
Myzocallis kahawaluokalani Kirkaldy (aphid) The Hawaiian
name supposedly means, "you fish on your side of the lagoon and I'll fish
on the other, and no one will fish in the middle."
Panama canalia Marsh, 1993 (braconid)
Parthenocissus Planch. (vine)
From partheno-, "virgin" (+ kissos, "ivy"). It is
uncertain whether the name derives from the common name "Virginia
creeper" (P. quinquefolia) or from the creeper's ability to
seed without pollination, or both.
Rattus nativitatis (Christmas
Island bulldog rat) (recently extinct)
Alabama Grote, 1895 (lep)
Argentina Linnaeus, 1758 (fish) NOT named after the
country (which did not become an independent country until 60 years
after the naming), but for the Latin for "silver" (which the country
is also named for).
Asia Pergens, 1887 (coelentrate; nomen nudum)
Australia Girault, 1928 (parasitic wasp)
Babylonia Schlüter, 1838 (mollusk)
Burma Kirkaldy, 1904 (bug)
China Burr, 1899 (orthopteran)
Colombia Rang, 1835 (mollusk)
Cuba Dyar, 1919 (lep)
Florida Baird, 1858 (bird)
Martialis Rabeling, Brown and Verhaagh, 2008 (ant)
"The genus name refers to the unknown combination of aberrant
morphological characters, which led Stefan P. Cover and Edward
O. Wilson to the conclusion that this ant has to be from the planet
Mars." [PNAS 0806187105]
Mexico Spilman, 1972 (jumping shore beetle)
Noumea Risbec, 1928 (nudibranch)
Samoa Sörensen, 1886 (arachnid)
Sonora Baird and Girard 1853 (snake)
Texas Kirkaldy, 1904 (bug)
Uruguay (fossil bee cells) from the Late
Cretaceous/Early Tertiary, in Uruguay.
Virginia Baird and Girard 1853 (snake)
Xenaroswelliana deltaquadrant Erwin, 2007
(carabid) Roswell, NM, is famous as a putative landing place of an
alien UFO, and xenos, "stranger", refers both to the
strangeness of this Brazilian beetle and the likely probability that
its larvae inhabit ant or termite nests. The Delta Quadrant is a
region in the Star Trek universe where humans encountered mysterious
life forms. This species presents a similar challenge. [PCAS
Amblyopsis hoosieri Chakrabarty et al. 2014
(Hoosier cavefish) Named in reference to the state of Indiana and
Indiana University, home of biologists Carl H. Eigenmann, who studied
blind cave vertebrates, and David Starr Jordan, father of American
ichthyology. [Zookeys 412: 41]
Aphis mizzou Lagos & Puttler 2012
(aphid) Named after the University of Missouri, the only place it is
Aptostichus stanfordianus Smith 1908
(trapdoor spider) Named for the "Stanford Estate", part of Stanford
University land, where it was first found.
Gonatocerus ucri Triapitsyn, 2013 (mymarid
wasp) Named for the University of California, Riverside (UCR), where
Hydraena ateneo Freitag, 2013 (hydraenid
beetle) Discovered in a pond on the campus of Ateneo de Manila
University (Phillipines) during an undergraduate exercise, and
honoring the Department of Biology's 50th anniversay.
[Zookeys 329: 9]
Technosaurus Chatterjee, 1984 (prosauropod dinosaur)
"Texas Technological University (Texas Tech) Lizard"
Myrmekiaphila tigris Bond & Ray, 2012
(trap-door spider) Discovered in Auburn, Alabama, it is named after
the mascot of Auburn University. [ZooKeys 190: 95].
Myzostoma seymourcollegiorum Rouse and Grygier,
2005 (annelid) Seymour College is a girl's school in a suburb of
Adelaide, South Australia.
Ptolemeba bulliensis (protist) Named after
Mississippi State University's first bulldog mascot, Ptolemy, and
Bully, the mascot of Mississippi State, because the protist was found
on the campus.
Xerocomus silwoodensis Taylor et al., 2007
(mushroom) Discovered on the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College
Ainu Lewis, 1894 (beetle) There are also several species
named after these indigenous northern Japanese.
Akawaio Maldenado-Ocampo et al., 2013
(knifefish) Named after the Akawaio people who populate the upper
Mazaruni River, Guyana, where the fish was discovered.
Aleiodes napo Shimbori & Shaw, 2014
(parasitic wasp) Named after the indigenous people of eastern Ecuador,
for whom the province (locality of the type) is also named: Napo
Allocareproctus unangas Orr and Busby, 2006
(snailfish) "Unangas" is the autonym of the Aleuts of Atka Island,
near the center of the species distribution. [Zootaxa
Aloe rendilliorum Newton, 2006 (African
plant) Named for the Rendille tribe of Kenya.
Ancyronyx buhid Freitag, 2013 (riffle
beetle) Named Buhid group indigenous to the Philippines.
Apachesaurus Hunt, 1993 (Triassic
Aptostichus miwok Bond, 2008
(trapdoor spider) Named for the Miwoks of California.
A. chemehuevi and
A. serrano Bond, 2012 (trapdoor
spider) Named for other California native groups.
Aphyocharax yekwanae Willink, Chernoff &
Machado-Allison, 2003 (tetra) In honor of the Ye'Kwana Indians of
the Caura River Basin, Venezuela, where the fish is found.
Apodemus gurkha Thomas, 1924 (Nepalese
Berberosaurus Allain et al., 2007 (theropod
dinosaur) referring to the Berbers of Morocco. The fossil is from the
Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Bittacus zulu Londt 1972
Bolitoglossa guaneae Acosta-Galvis &
Gutiérrez-Lamus, 2012 (salamander) Named for the Guane
people, who live in Colombia within the range of the
salamander. [Pap. Avulsos Zool. 52]
Callithrix saterei de Sousa & de Noronha,
1998 Named for the Satere-Maues indians in Amazonian Brazil.
[Goeldiana Zoologia 21: 1]
Chilgatermes diamatensis Engel et al., 2012
(Oligocene fossil termite) D'mt (aka Diamat) was an ancient kingdom
which included the Chilga region of Ethiopia, where the fossil was
found. [Acta Palaeo. Polonica 58: 331]
Cupressus nootkatensis D.Don 1824 (Nootka
cypress) discovered on land of the Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) people of
Cuscomys ashaninka Emmons, 1999 (chinchilla
rat from the Peruvian Andes) "mouse from Cusco, of the Ashaninka
Dawndraco kanzai Kellner, 2010 (Cretaceous
pterosaur) referring to the Kanza (or Kaw) tribe of Kansas.
Dynastes maya Hardy 2003
Liturgusa maya Saussure & Zehnter, 1894
Eptatretus wayuu Mok, Saavedra-Diaz & Acero
P., 2001 (hagfish) Named for the Wayuu (Guajiro) people living
on the coastal region of Colombia near the type locality.
Euglossa embera Hinojosa-Díaz et
al. 2012 (orchid bee) Named for the Emberá, an indigenous
people of lowland Columbia. [Zookeys 221: 63]
Europejara olcadesorum Vullo et al., 2012
(Cretaceous pterosaur) The Olcades were the first inhabitants of the
Cuenca region of Spain, where the fossil was discovered.
Galeodes arabs C.L. Koch, 1842 (solfugid, or sun spider)
from the Middle East. (Reaching 10 miles/hour, these may be the fastest
Hopiichnus Welles, 1971 (trackway of a lower
Jurassic ornithomimid dinosaur) from Arizona; named for the
Hypsiboas tetete Caminer & Ron, 2014
(tree frog) Named after the Tetete, an indigenous group of Amazonian
Colombia and Ecuador, now extinct. "Its recent disappearance
parallels the destruction of increasingly large areas of forest in the
Ecuadorian Amazon with the ensuing decline of biodiversity."
[Zookeys 370: 1]
Incadelphys (South American fossil
marsupial). There are also
Larosterna inca (Inca tern) and
Scardafella inca (Inca dove). The last
is also misnamed; it is found in the southern U. S. and in Central
America, but not in South America.
Lexovisaurus Hoffestetter, 1957 (French
stegosaur) named for the ancient Gallic Lexovix tribe.
Liturgusa bororum Svenson, 2014 (mantis)
Named for the Bora people of Peru, Columbia, and Brazil.
Magyarosaurus von Huene, 1932 (dwarf
sauropod) from Hungary, named for the Magyars.
Megadyptes waitaha Seddon et al. 2008
(recently extinct penguin) The Waitaha were the first Polynesian tribe
to occupy South Island of New Zealand.
Micronycteris matses Simmons, Voss, &
Fleck, 2002 (Matses' big-eared bat) for the Matses indians of
Navahoceros (Pleistocene mountain
Navahopus Baird, 1980 (Jurassic footprints)
from the Navajo Sandstone
Nipponia nippon (Japanese crested
Oocyclus trio (water beetle) Named for the
Trio people, indigenous to Suriname, who assisted the expedition that
discovered the beetles.
Oreobates amarakaeri and
Oreobates machiguenga Padial et al., 2012
(frogs) After the Amarakaeri and Machiguenas, indigenous groups who,
like the frogs, are intimately associated with the Amazonian
Orobdella ketagalan Nakano & Lai, 2012
(leech) Named for the Ketagalan, an aboriginal Taiwanese tribe in the
area where the species was discovered. [Zookeys 207:
Piratosaurus Leidy, 1865 (Late Cretaceous
North American Mosasaur)
Prosaurolophus blackfeetensis Horner, 1992
(duck-billed dinosaur) found on a Blackfeet Indian Reservation,
Ripipteryx mopana Heads & Taylor 2012
(Orthopterous insect) named for the Mopan, a Mayan group indgenous to
Belize. [ZooKeys 169: 5.]
Shoshonia arctopteryx Friedman, Coates, Anderson
2007 (Fossil coelacanth) from Wyoming. Named after the Shoshone
people and the Shoshone National Forest.
Skiaster vikingr Blake & Jagt, 2005
(late Cretaceous/early Paleogene echinoderms) from Denmark, Viking
country. [Bull. l'Inst. Royal des Sci. Nat. Belg. 75:
Suncus etruscus (Etruscan shrew) Its type
locality is in Pisa, Italy, in the heartland of the ancient Etruscan
Teuthidodrilus samae Osborn et al., 2010
(squidworm) The Sama is a culture with ties to Philippine islands near
the discovery site.
Yanomamua Grant, Maas, and Struwe, 2006
(herb, Gentianaceae) Named for the Yanomamö, indigenous to the
area of Venezuela where the plant is found. [Harvard Papers in
Botany 11: 29]
Yicaris dianensis Zhang, Siveter, Waloszek &
Maas 2007 (Late Cambrian crustacean) The Yi are an ethnic
minority group of Yunnan Province, China. "Dian" refers to an ancient
kingdom of southern China.
Zuniceratops Wolfe & Kirkland, 1998
(ceratopsian dinosaur) Named for the Zuni Native American
Last modified: .
All rights reserved.