Reprinted from BOGUS Volumino Negatori Doso, pages 24-27. (April Fool's Day 1993)

Funny or Curious Zoological Names

by Arnold S. Menke
USDA-SEL-ARS, U.S. National Museum NHB-168,
Washington, D.C. 20560
(with additions by Neal L. Evenhuis)


Serendipidae Evenhuis, 1994 (fossil flies)


Aa Baker, 1940 (a mollusk)
Aaadonta Solem, 1976 (an endodontoid snail; see Zyzzyxdonta)
Abudefduf Forsskal, 1775 (a fish)
Aha Menke, 1977 (a wasp)
Alabama Grote, 1895 (a lepidopteran)
Aloha Kirkaldy, 1904 (a bug)
Arfia Van Valen, 1965 (a dog-like fossil hyaenodont)
Argentina Linnaeus, 1758 (a fish)
Ariaspis Denison, 1963 (a fossil fish)
Asia Pergens, 1887 (a coelenterate; nomen nudum)
Australia Girault, 1928 (a parasitic hymenopteran)
Babylonia Schlüter, 1838 (a mollusk)
Batman Whitley, 1956 (a fish)
Bugeranus Gloger, 1842 (a bird, the wattled crane)
Cannabis Blyth, 1850 (a bird)
Chaos Linnaeus, 1767 (a protozoan)
China Burr, 1899 (an orthopteran)
Colombia Rang, 1835 (a mollusk)
Csiro Medvedev and Lawrence, 1984 (a tenebrionid beetle from Australia;CSIRO is the abbreviation for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation)
Cuba Dyar, 1919 (a lepidopteran)
Cuttysarkus Estes, 1964 (a fossil lizard)
Dasypops Miranda Ribeiro, 1924 (an amphibian)
Disaster Agassiz, 1836 (an echinoid)
Dyaria Meumoegen, 1893 (a moth)
Enema Hope, 1837 (a scarab beetle; see also under species!])
Florida Baird, 1858 (a bird)
Inyoaster Phleger, 1936 (a starfish)
Iyaiyai Evenhuis, 1994 (a fossil fly)
Mamma Moersch, 1852 (a mollusk)
Mexico Spilman, 1972 (a jumping shore beetle)
Ninjameys Gaffney, 1992 (a fossil turtle) (Etymology: "Ninja, in allusion to that totally rad, fearsome foursome epitomizing shelled success; meys, turtle.")
Notoreas Meyrick, 1886 (a lepidopteran)
Ochisme Kirkaldy, 1904 (a bug) [also Polychisme, Dolichisme, Peggichisme by the same author]
Oops Agassiz, 1846 (an arachnid)
Oops Germar, 1848 (a beetle; described after Agassiz had already proposed Oops for an arachnid ... oops!)
Papa Reichenbach, 1850 (a bird)
Paratype Felder, 1874 (a lepidopteran)
Psorthaspis Banks, 1912 (a spider wasp with a painful sting!)
Samba Friese, 1908 (a bee)
Samoa Sörensen, 1886 (an arachnid)
Sayonara Jordan and Steele, 1906 (a fish)
Stupidogobius Aurich, 1938 (a fish)
Supercrambus Bleszynski, 1967 (a pyralis moth)
Texas Kirkaldy, 1904 (a bug)
This McAlpine, 1991 (a fly; McAlpine has a poster on his office door with an illustration of the fly and a quote below "Look at This!")
Townesilitus Hesselbarth and Loan, 1983 (a braconid wasp)
Trivia Gray, 1837 (a snail)
Yamagutiplectognathotrema Yamaguti, 1971 (a new name for the preoccupied Plectognathotrematoides Yamaguti, 1971!)
Zyzzyx Pate, 1937 (a wasp)
Zyzzyxdonta Solem, 1976 (an endodontoid snail with characters the extreme opposite of Aaadonta!)


Agra sasquatch Erwin, 1982 (a carabid beetle with big feet)
Agra vation Erwin, 1983 (a carabid beetle)
Afropolonia tgifi Goff, 1983 (a chigger)
Aha ha Menke, 1977 (an Australian sphecid wasp; and also Menke's car license plate number!)
Aploparakis turdi Williamson and Rausch, 1965 (a cestode)
Apolysis humbugi (Evenhuis), 1985 (a bombyliid fly from Humbug Creek, California)
Ba humbugi Solem, 1976 (a snail from Mba Island, Fiji)
Bla nini Inglis, 1963 (a marine nematode)
Brachinus aabaaba Erwin, 1970 (a carabid beetle)
Brachyanax thelestrephones Evenhuis, 1981 (a fly; translated from the Greek it means "little chief nipple twister")
Brachyta interrogationis interrogationis var. nigrohumeralisscutellohumeroconjuncta Plavltstshikov, 1936 (a cerambycid beetle)
Bullisichthys caribbaeus Rivas, 1971 (a fish)
Cancelloidokytodermogammarus (Loveninsuskytodermogammarus) loveni Dybowski, 1926 (a crustacean)
Cartwrightia cartwrighti Cartwright, 1967 (a beetle)
Castanea inca dincado Miller, 1972 (a moth)
Cavaticovelia aaa (Gagné and Howarth), 1975 (a bug; "aaa" is Hawaiian for lava tube)
Cedusa medusa McAtee, 1924 (a bug)
Chaos chaos (Linnaeus), 1758 (a protozoan)
Chrysops asbestos Philip, 1950 (a horsefly collected from a mule)
Chrysops balzaphire Philip, 1955 (another horsefly)
Chrysops nigribimbo Whitney, 1879 (still another horsefly)
Colon rectum Hatch, 1933 (a colonid beetle)
Dissup irae (Kovalev), 1989 (a "difficult to see" fossil fly)
Doryctes fartus Provancher, 1880 (a braconid wasp)
Enema pan (Fabricius), 1775 (a rhinoceros beetle)
Geoballus caputalbus Crabill, 1969 (a millipede named after its collectors, George Ball and Donald Whitehead)
Gluteus minimus Davis and Semken, 1975 (a Devonian fossil of uncertain affinities)
Gressittia titsadasyi Philip, 1980 (a horsefly)
La cucuracha Blezynski, 1966 (a pyralid moth)
La paloma Blezynski, 1966 (another pyralid moth)
Lalapa lusa Pate, 1946 (a tiphiid wasp)
Leonardo davincii Blezynski, 1965 (yet another pyralid moth)
Mastophora dizzydeani Eberhard, 1984 (a spider that uses a sticky ball on the end of a thread to catch its prey)
Montypythonoides riversleighensis Smith and Plane, 1985 (a fossil snake)
Myzocallis kahawaluokalani Kirkaldy, 1907 (an aphid; in Hawaiian, the name supposedly means "you fish on your side of the lagoon and I'll fish on the other, and no one will fish in the middle")
Orgia nova Fitch, 1863 (a beetle)
Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyoides Brunetti, 1923 (a fly)
Phthiria relativitae Evenhuis, 1985 (a fly)
Pimeliaphilus podapolipophagus Tragardh, 1905 (an acarine)
Pisolina yangwanggouensis Zhang and Wang, 1974 (a fossil foram)
Pison eu Menke, 1988 (a South American wasp)
Pison eyvae Menke, 1988 (a South American wasp)
Polemistus chewbacca Menke, 1983 (a wasp; named after the "Star Wars" character)
Polemistus vaderi Menke, 1983 (a wasp; named after another "Star Wars" character)
Prolasioptera aeschynanthusperottetii Mani, 1943 (a cecidomyiid fly)
Reissa roni Evenhuis, 2002 ( a microbombyliid fly)
Rochlingia hitleri Guthörl, 1934 (a giant fossil insect; the name is a synonym; see Can. J. Zool. 61: 1684-1685 for discussion of the appropriateness of the name)
Scrotum humanum Brookes, 1763 (a dinosaur)
Stenotabanus sputnikulus Philip, 1958 (a fly; named for Sputnik)
Tabanus nippontucki Philip, 1942 (a horsefly; described during the bombing of Pearl Harbor)
Tabanus rhizonshine Philip, 1954 (another horsefly)
Tabanus yuleanus Philip, 1950 (a horsefly named after a memorable Christmas day in 1946)
Trombicula doremi Brennan and Beck, 1955 (musical chigger number one)
Trombicula fasolla Brennan and Beck, 1955 (musical chigger number two)
Trombicula fujigmo Philip and Tucker, 1950 (another chigger--ask any WWII U.S. veteran what "fujigmo" stands for)
Upupa epops Linnaeus, 1758 (a bird)
Villa manillae Evenhuis, 1994 (a fly)

For a continually updated supplemental list by Doug Yanega (including some plant names as well), click HERE .

Last revised 2 December 2021
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