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Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak       specimen@curioustaxonomy.net
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Puns: Funny-sounding

Absurdaster Kroh et al., 2014 (Creatceous starfish relative) Name inspired by the specimen's puzzling morphology. [Cretaceous Res. 48: 235]
Abudefduf Forskal, 1775 (fish) From Arabic "abu," father + "def," side + "-duf," an intensive plural; i.e., "the leader of the reef and has prominent sides"
Ariaspis Denison, 1963 (fossil fish)
Atomaster (characin fish)
Balbaroo fangaroo Cooke (an balbarid kangaroo with huge canines)
Bathymaster (percine fish)
Beliops (percine fish)
Bla nini Inglis, 1963 (marine nematode)
Boops Gronow, 1854 (porgy fish)
Bullisichthys caribbaeus Rivas, 1971 (fish)
Catherpes (canyon wren)
Chrysops nigribimbo Whitney, 1879 (horse fly)
Cookeolus (percine fish)
Cryomyia Hull, 1973 (bombyliid fly)
Cypraea ziczac Linnaeus 1758 (zigzag cowrie) For the zigzag markings on the shell.
Dasypops Miranda Ribeiro, 1924 (amphibian)
Dorsetochelys buzzops Bakker, 1998 (Jurassic fossil turtle) "Buzzops" is named for a bar/cafe proprietor in Rock River, Wyoming.
Euerythra (arctiid moth)
Gibberichthys (gibberfish)
Gluteus minimus Davis & Semken, 1975 (Devonian fossil of uncertain affinities)
Glutops (horse fly)
Gummilumpus Grissell, 1980 (torymid wasp). An extinct wasp found in Dominican amber, from "gummi" (Latin for resin) and "lompe" (Dutch for lump), referring to the amber.
Hoplochalina agogo de Laubenfels (sponge?) de Laubenfels admitted it to be an arbitrary combination of letters.
Histrionicus histrionicus (harlequin duck)
Jorunna spazzola Marcus, 1955 (nudibranch)
Itolia (fly)
Jujubinus (mollusc)
Kaniwhaniwhanus Boothroyd, 1998 (midge) Named for the Kaniwhaniwha River, where the type species was found. The river's name is from Maori, meaning "dark, deep hole in river."
Lablab lablab (hyacinth bean) Now in the genus Dolichos.
Leylaiya Efflatoun, 1945 (bombyliid fly)
Lumpus Rafinesque, 1815 (fish)
Malassezia furfur (C.P. Robin) Baill. 1889 (mold; tinia versicolor infection agent)
Mirza zaza 2005 Kappeler et al. (northern giant mouse lemur) "Zaza" is Malagasy for "child," alluding to the lemur's smaller size.
Mobula eregoodootenkee (Bleeker, 1859) (manta)
Paa yei (frog)
Pachypops (croaker fish)
Pawpawsaurus Lee, 1996 (ankylosauroid dinosaur) Named after the Paw Paw formation.
Phryganidia Packard (California oak moth)
Pimeliaphilus podapolipophagus Tragardh, 1905 (acarine)
Pisolina yanwanggouensis Zhang & Wang, 1974 (fossil foram)
Pogonomyrmex owyheei Cole, 1938 (harvester ant)
Porcus Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (catfish)
Psorthaspis Banks, 1912 (spider wasp)
Schizogenius (carabid beetle)
Scytalopus psychopompus Teixeira and Carnevalli, 1989 (Bahia tapaculo, a perching bird known from only three museum specimens)
Sinclairocerus haha (fossil cephalopod)
Stupidogobius Aurich, 1938 (fish)
Supercrambus Bleszynski, 1967 (pyralid moth)
Synthliboramphus wumizusumi (murrelet)
Uluops uluops Bakker, 1990 (Jurassic fossil turtle) Named for "ulu", a female Eskimo's knife.
Veronica beccabunga (brooklime plant)
Wakiewakie (Australian Oligo-Miocene rat kangaroo)
Zby Mateus et al., 2014 (Jurassic sauropod) Named after geologist/paleontologist Georges Zbyszewski.

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