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Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
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Misc.: Unused Names

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 combination.
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 Linguini.
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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