This page features some of the more interesting "scientific" names I've encountered. And note that, with the exception of Dybowski's names below, these are all "real" names!!

Longest names:

Pseudotyrannochthonius octospinosus (a pseudoscorpion)

Notiocryptorrhynchus punctatocarinulatus (a weevil)

Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyioides (stratiomyid fly)

The above are probably the longest names in current use. But look at
these names proposed by B. Dybowski (1927) for Lake Baikal amphipods:

Crassocornoechinogammarus crassicornis

Parapallaseakytodermogammarus abyssalis

Zienkowiczikytodermogammarus zienkowiczi

Toxophthalmoechinogammarus toxophthalmus

Rhodophthalmokytodermogammarus cinnamomeus

Gammaracanthuskytodermogammarus loricatobaicalensis

...which, at 50 letters may be the longest scientific name ever
proposed.  The Dybowski names were later invalidated by the ICZN.

Some long chironomid names:

Gymnometriocnemus kamimegavirgus

Paralauterborniella nigrohalteralis

Dicrotendipes paradasylabidus

Tempisquitoneura merrillorum

Some short names:

Ia io (bat)

Ips pini (beetle)

Ua maria (a chalcid wasp)

Plesiothrips o (Thysanoptera - thrips)

Peza ops, Peza dops (water mites)

Chirothrips ah (Thysanoptera - thrips)

Alaptus ah (a chalcid wasp)

Alaptus oh (a chalcid wasp)

Lymnophyes er (chironomid midge; "er" is Latin for hedgehog; thanks to Ole Sæther for pointing this out to me)

"Strange" names. Of course, "strange" depends on your outlook on life....
Some of these names are best appreciated when spoken aloud.

Aaata (Buprestidae - metallic wood-boring beetle)

Aaages (Coccinellidae - ladybird beetle)

Zyzzyva  (beetle)

La cucaracha, La paloma (pyralid moths)

Pison eu (wasp)

Lalapa lusa  (tiphiid wasp)

Castanea inca dincado (moth)

Aha ha (sphecid wasp; shortest insect name on this list)

Dyaria (moth)

Townesilitus (braconid wasp)

Agra vation, Agra phobia (carabid beetles)

Ytu brutus (beetle)

Leonardo davincii (moth)

Ochisme, Polychisme, Peggichsime, Nanichisme, Marichisme, Dolichisme and Florichisme (bugs)

Phthiria relativitae (bombyliid fly)

Heerz lukenatcha,  Heerz tooya,  Panama canalia, Verae peculya (braconid wasps)

Enema pan (scarab)

Colon rectum (leiodid beetle)

Chrysops balzaphire, Chrysops nigribimbo (tabanid (deer) flies)

Tabanus rhizonshine; Tabanus nippontucki (tabanid (horse) flies)

Godzillius, Pleomothra (remipede crustaceans)

Apopyllus now (Gnaphosidae -spider)

Abracadabrella birdsville (Salticidae- jumping spider)

Strigiphilus garylarsoni (owl louse named for cartoonist Gary Larson)

Dicrotendipes thanatogratus (chironomid midge named for Grateful Dead)

Cartwrightia cartwrighti Cartwright  ( a scarab beetle.  Islas established the genus Cartwrightia in 1958, honoring coleopterist Oscar L. Cartwright.  Cartwright later (1967) named a species in Cartwrightia for his brother - thus "Cartwrightia cartwrighti Cartwright")

If you are interested in seeing even more names, check out the following site. It is much more "technical" than my meager effort above:

(last updated 16 February 2003)

Return to home