Curious Scientific Names

Trilobites

  • Aegrotocatellus
    – the Latin translation means «sick puppy»
  • Aegrotocatellus
    jaggeri – named after Mick Jagger (have a look at
    the genus transaltion – were the namers trying to say something)?
  • Arcticalymene
    viciousi, A. rotteni, A. jonesi, A. cooki,
    A. matlocki
    – named for the Sex Pistols
  • Avalanchurus
    lennoni,
    A. starri – named after
    John Lennon and Ringo Starr
  • Celmus michaelmus
    – its abdomen looks like a Mouseketeer hat (Mickey Mouse ears).
  • Mackenziurus
    johnnyi, M. joeyi, M. deedeei, M. ceejayi
    – named after
    the Ramones
  • Milesdavis
    – named for Miles Davis
  • Merlinia
    – named after King Arthur’s wizard Merlin.
  • Norasaphus
    monroeae
    – named after Marylin Monroe because of its
    hourglass shape.
  • Perirehaedulus
    richardsi – named after Keith Richards (Rolling
    Stones guitarist)

Fossils

  • Amaurotoma
    zappa (Gastropod) – also named after Frank Zappa.
  • Anomphalus
    jaggerius
    (Gastropod) – named after Mick Jagger also.
  • Eucritta
    melanolimnetes
    (amphibian) – loosely translates to «Creature
    from the Black Lagoon»
  • Excalibosaurus
    (Jurassic ichthyosaur) – named after King Arthur’s sword Excalibur
    – they have a sword-like upper jaw.
  • Frodospira
    (Silurian gastropod) – a small genus named after a well-known
    Hobbit.
  • Mestoronema
    (Fossil Snail) – named after the evil snail king in Doctor Who.

Fish

  • Aphyocharax yekwanae
    (
    Tetra) – named after the Ye’Kwana Indians of the Caura River
    Basin (Venezula) where the fish is found.
  • Apistogramma
    medezi
    (Dwarf cichlid)
    – named after the rubber tapper and rainforest defender Chico
    Mendes (misspelled).
  • Bidenichthys
    beeblebroxi (Triple-fin Blenny) – named after The
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy two-headed character Zaphod Beeblebrox-
    they have a false head pattern.
  • Chromidiotilapia
    mrac (African cichlid) – named after Musee Royal
    de l’Afrique Centrale.
  • Corydoras narcissus
    (Catfish) – named narcissus because the discoverers insisted that
    the describer name the fish after them . Narcissis was fascinated
    with his own image.
  • Discoverichthys
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the subersible Discover.
  • Draculo
    (Dragonet Fish) – named after Dragons.
  • Eeyorius
    (Australian fish) – named for the Donkey Eeyor in Winnie the Pooh.
    Like EEyor, it lives in damp, dark places.
  • Fiordichthys
    slartibartfasti
    (Triple-fin Blenny) – named for the Hitchhiker’s
    Guide to the Galaxy character Slartibartfast, who was noted for
    designing fjords.
  • Grimaldichthys
    profundissimus
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the Grimaldi
    family – reigning in Monaco
  • Inpaichthys
    (South American Tetra) – named after INPA, the Brazilian INstituto
    Nacional dePesquisas da Amazonia. Also named after INPA – Crenicichla
    inpa (
    cichlid), Aguarunichthys inpai
    (siluroid fish) and Bryconops inpai (Characoid fish)
  • Kali
    (Deep sea swallower fish) – named after the Indian Goddess Kali.

  • Lucifer
    (Fish) – named aftee the Devil
  • Mephisto
    (Spikefish) – also named after the Devil
  • Natalichthys
    ori
    (Fish) – named after the Oceanographic Research
    Institute (South Africa) and N. sam – named after
    the South African Museum where the specimen was found.
  • Pomadasys
    peroteti
    (Parrot Grunt) – peroteti means «small-breasted
    dog».
  • Puck
    (Anglerfish) – named after the character in A MidSummer Night’s
    Dream
  • Roloffia
    roloffi roloffi
    (Killiefish) – named after the describer
    Roloff. (Is now Scripaphyosemion)
  • Satan
    (Catfish) – a blind unpigmented catfish from the artesian wells
    near San Antonio (Texas). Found at depths bteween 1000 and 1250
    feet. The full name Satan eurystomus mean «wide-mouthed
    Prince of Darkness».
  • Satanoperca
    lilith
    (Eartheater cichlid) – also S. daemon and
    S. jurupari
    .
  • Sio
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the Scripps Institute for Oceanography.
  • Tanganicodus
    irsacae (Tanganyikan Goby Cichlid) – named after
    IRSAC, the Central African Science Research Institute.
  • Tomocichla
    asfraci
    (Cichlid) – named after the Association
    Francaise des Cichlidophiles
  • Zappa
    (Australian Goby) – named after Frank Zappa
  • Zoogonectius
    tequila (Goodeid Fish) – named after the alcoholic
    drink Tequila.

Gastropods and relatives

  • Buddhaites
    (Mollusc)
    named after Buddha
  • Bufonaria
    borisbeckeri
    (Sea Snail) – named after Boris Becker
  • Conus tribblei
    (Marine snail) – named after a pet cat called Tribbles, who was
    named after the furry creatures from Star Trek.
  • Godiva
    (Nudibranch) – nudi means naked and Lady Godiva was reported to
    have ridden naked through the streets of Coventry.
  • Mandelia
    (Sea Slug) – named after Nelson Mandela
  • Piseinotecus
    divae
    (Snail) – Piseintotecus means «I stepped
    on Teco». Teco was a dog belonging to a diva that the describers
    (Evelyne and Ernest Marcus) were staying with. One of them stepped
    on the dog on the way to the kitchen in the middle of the night.

Squid and relatives

  • Grimalditeuthis
    bonplandi
    (Transparent squid) – named after the Grimaldis
  • Lepidoteuthis
    grimaldii
    (Squid) – named for Prince Albert (Grimaldi)
    who pioneered the study of deep sea creatures (particularly squid).
    This squid was collected from the stomach contents of a whale.
  • Phialella zappai
    (Jellyfish) – named as part of the describers plan to
    meet Frank Zappa.
  • Vampyroteuthis
    infernalis
    (Squid relative) – means «Vampire Squid
    from Hell.
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