List of bizarre scientific names from biology

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article collects scientific terms that have a certain bizarre or curiosity within the framework of valid biological nomenclature rules . The naming in biology is clearly regulated by various internationally valid regulations and agreements. In works such as the International Rules for Zoological Nomenclature , the Nomina Anatomica or the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, it is specified when a scientific name is legal and when it is not accepted.

There are always creative names with a certain "entertainment value". This can be due to the selection of the name (naming it after a music group, a film, etc.), the length of the name, its letter composition ( palindrome , many vowels ) or other properties.


Long names

Short names

First and last in the alphabet

  • Aa , the generic name of an orchid, see Aa (orchids)
  • Aaadonta , the generic name of a land snail of the family of the Endodontidae ; this genus has features that the exact opposite of Zyzzyxdonta represent
  • Aaages , the generic name of a ladybug
  • Aaata , the generic name of a jewel beetle
  • Zyzzya , the generic name of a horned silica sponge (not to be confused with Zyzza , a genus of cicadas )
  • Zyzzyx , the generic name of a digger wasp
  • Zyzzyxdonta , the generic name of a land snail of the Endodontidae family ; this genus has characteristics opposite of Aaadonta


Palindromes are words that can be read from the back and the front with the same meaning.

  • Afgoiogfa , generic name of a flat wasp
  • Aha ha , an Australian digger wasp in the Crabronidae family; named after the conversation of the discovering researcher (“Aha, a new species!” - “Ha!”).
  • Aidemedia , generic name of extinct hawk birds from Hawaii
  • Allenella , generic name of a slug
  • Orizabus subaziro , a scarab beetle
  • Xela alex , a hover fly


  • Filago , the genus of felt herbs, is divided by some authors into the genera Filago , Logfia , Gifola and Oglifa .

Word meanings

Named after celebrities

The naming of species after important people is quite common in biology. In the past, mainly important researchers were honored in this way, later also politicians, musicians, artists and film stars. The following names are particularly unusual because they have made the choice of people according to special characteristics of well-known personalities.

Names of fictional people and beings

From the world of legends and fairy tales

Forces of evil and death

Names based on characters from books, films and television

From the novels by JRR Tolkien

Due to the popularity of JRR Tolkien , the author of the Lord of the Rings , many animals have been named in his honor by scientists. In 1978, Leigh Van Valen in particular named a large number of mammals from the Paleocene after characters and terms from Tolkien's fictional world Middle-earth .

For the unlinked characters, see the article Characters in Tolkien's World .

  • Aenigmachanna gollum , a cave-dwelling snakehead fish , named after Gollum .
  • Arcella gandalfi , a shell amoeba with protective armor shaped like Gandalf's hat.
  • Aletodon mellon , a mammal from the Paleocene ; mellon comes from the Elvish language Sindarin and means "friend", this word was the password for Moria .
  • Ancalagon , a priaps worm from the Cambrian and Ankalagon , a mammal from the Paleocene from the Mesonychia group ; both were named after the dragon Ancalagon .
  • Anisonchus eowynae , another mammal ( Urhuftier ) from the Paleocene, named after Eowyn , the sister of King Eomer of Rohan .
  • Beorn leggi , an extinct species of tardigrade, named after Beorn , a figure that can switch between bear and human form.
  • Bomburia , mammal ( Urhuftier ) from the Paleocene, named after Bombur, a dwarf.
  • Bubogonia bombadili and Protoselene bombadili , other mammals from the Paleocene, this time named after Tom Bombadil .
  • Claenodon mumak , a mammal from the Paleocene, named after Mûmak , a type of Middle-earth elephant .
  • Deltatherium Durini , mammal ( Urraubtier ) from the Paleocene, after the dwarf father Durin named.
  • Earendil , a genus of mammals from the Paleocene, named after Eärendil , the father of Elrond .
  • Elachista amrodella , E. aredhella , E. caranthirella , E. curufinella , E. daeronella , E. diorella , E. finarfinella , E. gildorella , E. indisella , E. maglorella , E. miriella , E. turgonella , all representatives of the Grass miners named after various elves of Tolkien, u. a. Amrod, Aredhel, Caranthir, Curufin, Daeron, Dior (King of Doriath), Finarfin (King in Aman), Gildor Inglorion, Indis, Maglor, Miriel, Turgon.
  • Fimbrethil ambaronae , mammal ( primeval ungulate ) from the Paleocene, named after Fimbrethil, an Entfrau, and Ambaróna, as the deforest was named.
The shark Gollum attenuatus , drawing: Tony Ayling
  • Gollum , a genus of the shark family Pseudotriakidae , named after Gollum , the former guardian of the ring.
  • Gollumia , a genus of snails from Turkey, also named after Tolkien's Gollum
  • Gollumjapyx smeagol , a cave-dwelling double- tail discovered in 2006. Sméagol is the “civil” name of Gollum from his time as a hobbit.
  • Gwaihiria , a genus of wasps (Diapridae) named after Gwaihir , the king of eagles.
  • Litaletes ondolinde , Mammals ( Urhuftiere ) from the Paleocene, named after Ondolindë, the original name of the same city Gondolin .
  • Macrostyphlus frodo and Macrostyphlus gandalf , two weevils , named after the hobbit Frodo and the magician Gandalf, respectively .
  • Mimotricentes mirielae , mammal from the Paleocene, after the Elbin Míriel .
  • Mimatuta morgoth , a mammal ( Urhuftier ) from the Paleocene, named after Morgoth , the "Dark Enemy of the World".
  • Mimatuta minuial , a mammal from the Paleocene, named after the Elvish words "Min" for summit and Uial for twilight.
  • Mithrandir , a genus of mammals from the Paleocene, after the Sindarin name of the magician Gandalf ( Mithrandir = "gray wanderer").
  • Niphredil radagasti , mammal from the Paleocene, after Niphredil, a small flower in Middle-earth, and Radagast the brown.
  • Osteoborus orc , not an orc, but a dog from the Pliocene .
  • Oxyprimus galadrielae nor a mammal ( Urhuftier ) from the Paleocene, this time named after the elf Galadriel.
  • Pericompsus bilbo , a ground beetle , after Bilbo, the title hero of The Hobbit . This beetle was named for the reason: "It was short, fat and had hairy feet".
  • Platymastus palantir , once again a mammal from the Paleocene, this time after the palantíri, the seeing stones.
  • Protungulatum gorgun , a mammal, named after the forest people for the orcs: gorgûn .
Smaug giganteus
  • Smaug , a genus of belt tails namedafter the dragon from the book The Hobbit .
  • Smeagol , New Zealand genus of snails from the Smeagolidae family; both names reflect the original name of Gollum, as does Smeagolia , a wasp (Pteromalidae).
  • Syconycteris hobbit , a long- tongue bat .
  • Thangorodrim thalion , a Paleocene mammal. The Thangorodrim is a mountain in the prehistoric times of Middle-earth, Thalion (Elvish for "the strong") is the nickname of Húrin, a figure from Tolkien's The Silmarillion .
  • Tinuviel , a mammal ( primeval ungulate ) from the Paleocene, after the nickname of the most beautiful Elbin Lúthien . Tinuviel means " nightingale ".


  • La cerveza , a small butterfly from the Crambidae family ; La cerveza is Spanish and means "the beer". The genus also includes the species La paloma and La cucaracha

Sexual terms in scientific names

Often it is similarities with genitals that influenced the naming.

Feminine side

  • Lycoperdon mammiforme , the flake dusting , a fungus from the genus of the dusting
  • Mammillaria , a genus of cacti that is named after Mamilla , the Latin name for nipple ,because of its pronounced warts.
  • Ophrys mammosa , the bosom ragwort , an orchid from the Mediterranean region. The pronounced bumps on the flower lip led to this name.
  • Vanilla , orchid genus (in German vanilla ), according to Spanish vainilla , diminutive of vaina ( vagina ), alluding to the shape of the fruit.

Male side

Titan Arum
  • Mutinus caninus , a fungus that is related to the stinkhorn ; literally "small dog penis ", German common dog rod .
  • Penicillus penis (today Verpa penis ), a penis-shaped shell; see also Penicillus vaginiferus
  • Phallus impudicus , the stinkhorn , a mushroom from the Phallaceae family, literally: insolent penis.
  • Priapulus , a priapulida worm . The meaning of the whole group of animals is derived from the word "small penis" and relates to the shape of the worms.
  • Scrotum humanum , the distal ("lower") end of a thigh bone, which was so named because of its shape, which was reminiscent of a human scrotum ( Scrotum humanum ). This now lost piece was also the oldest documented find of a dinosaur fossil (presumably Megalosaurus ).

Other references to sex

  • Bobbit worm ( Eunice aphroditois ), the epithet aphroditois refers to Aphrodite , the Greek goddess of love , Bobbit to a criminal case in which John Wayne Bobbitt's penis was cut off
  • Eroticoscincus , generic name of an Australian skink ; translated the animal means "sexy skink"
  • Orchidaceae , scientific name for orchids ; comes from the Greek name for testicles , derived from the appearance of the paired, oval tubers of the genus Orchis . Other sources claim that the name comes from the ancient assumption that orchids grew from the sperm of copulating animals.

Other curiosities

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Howard E. Evans, Arnold S. Menke: Tales from the Outback: THE DISCOVERY OF AHA HA (SPHECIDAE, MISCOPHINI) . In: Arnold S. Menke (Ed.): SPHECOS . tape 7 , October 1983, p. 14 ( [PDF]).
  2. Miller, E. and Gunnell, G., et al. Anthracotheres from Wadi Moghra, early Miocene, Egypt. Journal of Paleontology, 2014 doi: 10.1666 / 13-122
  3. David Legg (2013) Multi-Segmented Arthropods from the Middle Cambrian of British Columbia (Canada). Journal of Paleontology: May 2013, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 493-501.
  4. Researcher names crustacean after Johnny Depp , Spiegel OnLine
  5. Michael D. Burns, Marcus Chatfield, José LO Birindelli, Brian L. Sidlauskas. Systematic assessment of the Leporinus desmotes species complex, with a description of two new species. Neotropical Ichthyology, 2017; 15 (2) doi : 10.1590 / 1982-0224-20160166
  6. Erick R. James, Noriko Okamoto et al. a .: Cthulhu Macrofasciculumque ng, n. sp. and Cthylla Microfasciculumque ng, n. sp., a Newly Identified Lineage of Parabasalian Termite Symbionts. In: PLoS ONE Volume 8, No. 3, 2013, doi : 10.1371 / journal.pone.0058509 p. 5, ( PDF; 752 kB ).
  7. Researchers name new species of lizard after cinema beast . In: Focus Online , May 10, 2017, accessed February 25, 2018.
  8. : Harryplax severus: The Harry Potter Crab from the Western Pacific . Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  9. František Kovařík: Butheoloides cimrmani sp.n. from Ghana (Scorpiones, Buthidae). In: Serket 2003, Volume 8, No. 3, pp. 125–127, digitized version http: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/1%3D~GB%3D~IA%3Dserket7820elhe~MDZ%3D%0A~SZ%3Dn481~doppelsided%3Dja~LT%3D~PUR%3D, accessed on November 19, 2017.
  10. František Kovařík: Parabuthus cimrmani sp.nov. from Somalia (Scorpiones, Buthidae). In: Acta Societas Zoologicae Bohemoslovenicae 2004, Volume 68, No. 1, pp. 15-19, Online PDFhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3DOnline% 20PDF ~ PUR% 3D , 710 kB, accessed on November 19, 2017.
  11. František Kovařík: A review of the genus Heterometrus Ehrenberg, 1828, with descriptions of seven new species (Scorpiones, Scorpionidae). In: Euscorpius , 2004, No. 15, pp. 1–60, Online PDFhttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3DOnline% 20PDF ~ PUR% 3D , 6.3 MB, accessed on November 19, 2017.
  12. ^ František Kovařík: Five new species of Chaerilus Simon, 1877 from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam (Scorpiones: Chaerilidae). In: Euscorpius 2012, No. 149, pp. 1–14, online PDF , accessed on November 19, 2017.
  13. D. Modrý and B. Koudela: Description of Isospora jaracimrmani sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Yemen chameleon Chamaeleo calyptratus (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae). In: Folia Parasitologica 1995, Volume 42, No. 4, pp. 313-316, onlinehttp: //vorlage_digitalisat.test/ ~ dae_GBhama_the_Yemen%3%DChameleo_Eimeriidae_from3Zeleo_A~%D%Chameleo% 3D ~ double-sided% 3D ~ LT% 3DOnline ~ PUR% 3D , accessed November 19, 2017.
  14. Otocinclus batmani on (English)
  15. [1]
  16. Miralles A., Anjeriniaina M., Hipsley CA, Müller J., Glaw F. & Vences M. 2012. Variations on a construction plan: description of a new Malagasy “mermaid skink” with flipper-like forelimbs only (Scincidae, Sirenoscincus Sakata & Hikida, 2003). Zoosystema. 34 (4): 701-719. doi: 10.5252 / z2012n4a3
  17. John T. Huber & John S. Noyes. 2013. A new genus and species of fairyfly, Tinkerbella nana (Hymenoptera, Mymaridae), with comments on its sister genus Kikiki, and discussion on small size limits in arthropods. Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 32: 17-44. doi: 10.3897 / YEAR 32.4663
  18. New dwarf wasp species discovered in Costa Rica: The deadly Tinker Bell Spiegel Online (wbr) from April 25, 2013
  19. Dementor Wasp makes its victim willless ORF Online from April 29, 2014
  20. Xiaolin Wang et al. 2014. An Early Cretaceous pterosaur with an unusual mandibular crest from China and a potential novel feeding strategy. Scientific Reports 4, article number: 6329; doi: 10.1038 / srep06329
  21. Silva, FDV; Azevedo, VMD; Matthews-Cascon, H. (2013). A new species of Tritonia (Opisthobranchia: Nudibranchia: Tritoniidae) from the tropical South Atlantic Ocean . Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: 1. doi: 10.1017 / S0025315413001586 .
  22. Sarnat EM et al. 2016. Inordinate Spinescence: Taxonomic Revision and Microtomography of the Pheidole cervicornis Species Group (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). PLoS ONE 11 (7): e0156709; doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0156709
  23. ^ Anton A. Nadolny, Alireza Zamani: A new species of burrowing wolf spiders (Araneae: Lycosidae: Lycosa) from Iran Zootaxa 4286 (4), 2017.
  24. Ahmed, Javed; Khalap, Rajashree; Sumukha, JN (2016). A new species of dry foliage mimicking Eriovixia Archer, 1951 from central Western Ghats, India (Araneae: Araneidae) . Indian Journal of Arachnology. Indian Society of Arachnology. 5 (1-2): 24-27. ISSN 2278-1587
  25. Vijay Singh: New spider named after Harry Potter character . In: The Times of India . Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  26. Jonathan Pearlman: New Zealand wasp named after Harry Potter character Lucius Malfoy . In: The Telegraph , October 10, 2017, accessed March 5, 2019.
  27. David Bressan: 430 Million-Year-Old Fossil Of Sea Creature Named After Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos . In: , April 11, 2019, accessed April 11, 2019.
  28. Rodrigo V. Pegas, Borja Holgado and Maria Eduarda C. Leal. 2019. On Targaryendraco wiedenrothi gen. Nov. (Pterodactyloidea, Pteranodontoidea, Lanceodontia) and Recognition of A New Cosmopolitan Lineage of Cretaceous Toothed Pterodactyloids. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. DOI: 10.1080 / 08912963.2019.1690482
  29. Zeeshan A. Mirza, Harshal S. Bhosale include: A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India . In: Zoosystematics and Evolution Volume 96, No. 1, 2020, doi : 10.3897 / zse.96.48431 pp. 123-138.
  30. Jordana C. Féres et al .: Morphological and Morphometric Description of a Novel Shelled Amoeba Arcella gandalfi sp. nov. (Amoebozoa: Arcellinida) from Brazilian Continental Waters. Acta Protozoologica, 2017; doi: 10.4467 / 16890027AP.16.021.6008
  31. Bernard Landry (1992): A phylogenetic analysis of the major lineages of the Crambinae and of the Genera of Crambini of North America (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Ph.D. Thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa.
  32. Merriam Webster dictionary
  33. W.Michaelsen & R. Hartmeyer (eds.): The fauna of Southwest Australia. Results of the Hamburg south-west Australian research trip , reprint of the original edition from 1907, Vero Verlag; Norderstedt, 2012
  34. Özdikmen, H., N. Polat, M. Yilmaz and O. Yazicioglu (2006): A replacement name for the preoccupied genus name Adamas Huber, 1979 (Actinopterygii: Perciformes) . Munis Entomology & Zoology 1 (1): 167-168
  35. ^ S. Schneider et al .: Propeamussiidae, Inoceramidae, and other Bivalvia from the Lower Cretaceous Puez Formation (Valanginiane Cenomanian; Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy) In: Cretaceous Research. Volume 46, November 2013, Pages 216–231
  36. ^ Mark Witton. Portsmouth University ( Memento of November 18, 2012 on the Internet Archive ).
  37. ^ Jochen Gerber: Revision of the genus “Vallonia” Risso 1826 (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Valloniidae). In: Writings on malacoology. 8, pp. 1-227.
  38. Lost and Found No. 1237: Bizarre names for newly discovered lizards , n-tv Wissen, December 10, 2013.
  39. ^ Oedipus complex Dunn, 1924, Occas. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., 5:94.
  40. China's censors outraged by the new beetle named Xi,, July 12, 2016, accessed July 12, 2016.
  41. Designation published in Zootaxa , June 2016.
  42. ^ Klaas-Douwe B. Dijkstra, Jens Kipping, Nicolas Mézière: Sixty new dragonfly and damselfly species from Africa (Odonata). Odonatologica 44 (4), December 2015; Pp. 457-461. doi : 10.5281 / zenodo.35388 .
  43. Johanna NJ Weston, Priscilla Carrillo-Barragan, Thomas D. Linley, William DK Ried, Alan J. Jamieson New species of Eurythenes from hadal depths of the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean (Crustacea: Amphipoda) Designation published in Zootaxa , March 5th 2020, accessed March 5, 2020

Web links

This list is only a small selection of names, many more can be found on: