These are names which taxonomists have considered but which have not made
it into the scientific literature.
Heroina cocaina (cichlid) Heroina
Kullander 1996 is an existing genus meant to be the feminine form of
Heros (another cichlid genus). The type species was found near
Coca, Ecuador, but Kullander resisted the temptation to create this
An anthropologist, noting that the group including African apes is named
Panini, suggested in jest that the subset of those which
have language should be called
Mindarus ebayi (fossil aphid) Richard
Harrington, of the UK's Royal Entomological Society, bought a
fossilised aphid on the web auction site eBay for 20 pounds, found
that it belongs to a previously unknown species, and sent it to fossil
aphid expert Ole Heie in Denmark. "I had thought it would be rather
nice to call it Mindarus ebayi," said Dr Harrington. "Unfortunately,
using flippant names to describe new species is rather frowned upon
these days." Heie instead named the species after Harrington:
Mindarus harringtoni Heie, 2008.
Petrophaga lorioti (stone louse) The
German-language medical encyclopedia Pschyrembel Klinisches
Wörterbuch describes this creature as a rodent-like mite
which can break down bladder and kidney stones. It was created by
German humorist Loriot in 1976 in a parody of nature documentaries and
was included in Pschyrembel in 1983 as a fictitious entry to
detect copyright violations. The entry was omitted from the 257th
edition but, due to readers' protests, was reinstated in the 1997
edition, with the entry expanded, among other ways, to speculate about
the stone louse's role in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of
the Stone Age.
Smaugia volans This name for a theropod
dinosaur that "could have flown" was given in a story from the April
1, 1998 online edition of Nature. It was reportedly
discovered by Randy Sepulchrave of the Museum of the University of
Southern North Dakota. In reality, Sepulchrave was a character from
Mervyn Peake's novel Titus Groan who, believing he was an owl,
leapt to his death from a tower; the University of Southern North
Dakota exists only in references by Peter Schickele as the site where
PDQ Bach's music was first performed; and Smaug was the dragon from
Tolkein's The Hobbit.
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