Funny, long, or just plain weird animal names

Google-eyed Eighty-Eight

There is also a Googly-eyed Cod and Googly-eyed Glass Squid

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I had decided some time ago that the common name for Turdus migratorius should be the BM or bowel movement bird.

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Have dog vomit slime mold or dog sick slime mould been mentioned?

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the Joker

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There are some fabulous old common names in English for Canadian birds:

American Tree Sparrow = Winter Chippy
Belted Kingfisher = Halcyon
Chipping Sparrow = Social Sparrow
Common Grackle = Maize Thief
Common Nighthawk = Piramidig
Common Redpoll = Little Snowbird
Eastern Kingbird = Bee Martin
Eastern Towhee = Chewink
Gray-cheeked Thrush = Alice’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush = Swamp Angel
Least Flycatcher = Chebec (just like its call)
Northern Flicker = Yellowhammer
Northern Shrike = Ninekiller
Ovenbird = Teacher (again, just like its call)
White-Throated Sparrow = Canada Sparrow (sings “dear, sweet, Canada Canada Canada”)
White-breasted Nuthatch = Devil Downhead
Wilson’s Warbler = Blackcap
Yellow-billed Cuckoo = Raincrow

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For those of you who didn’t click through on this one: the name is really extra-appropriate, because, sadly, the bird went extinct about a thousand years ago! I’m definitely showing this one to my Latin-teacher husband. :D

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I like Redundant Skipper

The North American dragonflies have been given some pretty great names, e.g. Stygian Shadowdragon, Ebony Boghaunter

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I personally find many common names of fungi very amusing, my favourite is the Old Man of the Woods:
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/125719-Strobilomyces-floccopus

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In German, the Red-backed Shrike still goes by that name

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For those of us in the Toronto area, or even anywhere in Canada for that matter, in honour of the upcoming NBA finals (Lets go Raptors !) I know those pesky iNat staff are mostly in the Bay Area…

Stelis alleyoop

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No contest for my favorite:

Humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpuaʻa

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Unsated Sallow Moth - Metaxaglaea inulta: why doesn’t eat enough?
Disparaged Arches Moth - Orthodes detracta: why is it not liked?
Implicit Arches Moth - Lacinipolia implicata: Implicit in what?
Cynical Quaker Moth - Orthodes cynica: Why is a brainless moth cynical?
Smaller Pinkish Dart Moth - Diarsia jucunda: related to the the 'slightly smaller reddish Dart Moth.
Simulium damnosum: No explanation necessary.

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I remembered there was an organism (a praying mantis) named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and searching it out brought me to this wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organisms_named_after_famous_people . There are some amusing namesakes there as well. I think my new favorite is the moth Leonardo davincii

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To throw in a little curmudgeonly commentary, which all are welcome to ignore…

Many of these wonderfully weird or funny names come from people “making up” common names by just directly translating the scientific name from Latin to another language. To me these aren’t common names at all (names in common vernacular use outside the scientific community). They are just scientific names in a different language, with all kinds of unwritten rules implicit therewith. (Is it still the common name if the scientific taxonomy changes later? If not, then it is not a common name.)

OK, end of short rant, and don’t let this distract from adding more wild and crazy examples!

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A new discovery for me last weekend is the Blackspotted Pliers Support Beetle.

What on earth is that all about? I see no other species called a “Pliers Support Beetle” and other members of the Rhagium genus are not so elaborately named, so I’m intrigued where this common name comes from.

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I saw this name last week as well, and I can’t imagine where the name comes from :)

Found a new one today:

Headless Chicken Monsters

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:grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning:

Bare-faced Go-away-bird, named after its call. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bare-faced_go-away-bird

Satanic Nightjar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_nightjar

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I’m a child, so I chuckled heartily at identifying:

Minettia LongiPennis

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