May I say employing Lucifer is a crazy thing.
On the other hand, there is the moth Copiopteryx jehovah. From what I’ve read, its name was controversial at the time.
Sure. But Jehovah is a 16th Century transliteration of the Hebrew word for God. It means only one thing. Lucifer is a Latin word with a number of related translations that have nothing to do with Satan. The Latin word is, for example, the root of the name for the group of enzymes luciferase, without which fireflies would have no fire.
A bee fly with Lucifer in its name is still going to raise the odd eyebrow, whatever the actual context Fabricius had in mind, Lucifer being Lucifer and all. I just think that Fabricius was using a Latin word in a Latin name.
I just used “search this topic,” and surprisingly, no mention of Bufflehead. Which sounds like a Dr. Seuss animal.
Recently came across a Dragonfly - Libellula incesta. Gotta wonder what was going through their mind when that was named.
“According to the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Vogon poetry is the third worst in the Universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria, and the worst is by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex, who perished along with her poetry during the destruction of Earth, ironically caused by the Vogons themselves. Vogon poetry is seen as mild by comparison.”
“A Checklist of North American Odonata” by Paulson & Dunkle (2018) notes the following:
Etymology for Libellula incesta Hagen: “incestuous, perhaps alluding to looking like a hybrid between other closely related species”.
Regarding scientific names given to odonates: “some defy understanding. In particular, Hermann Hagen applied unusual names to many of his species, and to our knowledge his allusions were never revealed; some of them seem to indicate a rather peculiar mindset.”
This name isn’t too crazy when you consider what Uroplatus phantasticus looks like: satanic leaf-tailed gecko.
A zoo near me has this species but signs it as "Fantastic Leaf-tailed Gecko - which is the exact opposite of that name.
Checkerspots is one I thought was pretty good.
Air Potato, despite sounding very strange, is a very accurate name. At least it was not called Floating Spuds.
But it isn’t an animal.
Another animal name I find strange is an African animal called a zorilla. In Spanish, that word means “little fox,” yet the zorilla looks nothing at all like a fox, but looks almost exactly like a skunk.
Oops. Maybe I should make make a separate thread for Plants? That is assuming it does not already exist…
Theres a hill not too far from my house where ground spiders appear to have been collected in 1984 that were named Apopyllus now, in reference to Apocalypse Now, the film from 1979.
I have never seen the spider in the wild and there are no records of any collections afterwards. So I dont even know if the species is real, or just a mis-ID, or if it’s gone locally extinct (and thereby fully extinct, having been described from only one hill)
What about Nameless Pinion (Lithophane innominata)? I mean, if you name it “Nameless”, then it’s no longer nameless since it has a name…
The Pacific-slope flycatcher has the scientific name Empidonax difficilis because it is so hard to tell apart from related species. Empidonax flycatchers are notorious that way. Also the genus name is Greek for “Lord of gnats.”
And then there is another flycatcher genus, Myiarchus – Lord of the Flies (like the William Golding novel)
And the paradox is repeated in the scientific name, since innominata means nameless.
I always find it odd to see a specific epithet with the word dubium. Doubtful, as in the taxonomist doubted whether it was a valid species. Well, why name it as one then?
One of my favorites, though, is the Zapata sparrow – Torreornis inexpectata. Inexpectata means unexpected, as though the ornithologist did not expect to find a new species in Zapata Swamp.
Eight-eyed Blood Hedgehog.
Indeed. Reminds me of the Sin Nombre Virus which causes hantavirus disease, especially here in the Southwest U.S. Although the name means “nameless”, it’s apparently named after a Sin Nombre canyon.