Coluber constrictor does not actually constrict its prey.
You would think it would be a dung beetle. ;)
I like it. And so another line of enquiry opens up (even if getting a little further off-topic). Birds in different keys… Unfortunately there’s no F. major in Fregata, but other birds may be able to help:
In the genus Artamus, the little woodswallow is A. minor
In Crotophaga, the greater ani is C. major
In Chionis, the black-faced sheathbill is C. minor
In Diglossa, the greater flowerpiercer is D. major
In Dromaius, the King Island emu is D. minor
In Eudyptula, the little penguin is E. minor
You’d have to listen very carefully, perhaps with amplification to listen to F. Major, the sallow, chameleon, or witch-alder
I like the name of a talented little octopus from Indonesia, the Wonderpus, Wunderpus photogenicus.
Recently I saw my first Setaceous Hebrew Charakter. Whaaat???
Tribulus terrestris has always been my favorite. Translates to something like Earth Troubler.
On the topic of mismatched scientific/common names, the best example I know of involves four species of gulls.
We start with the Medditeranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus). Melanocephalus means “Black-headed”.
There is another species called Black-headed Gull (although, unlike many other gulls, it has a brown rather than black head). It has the scientific name Chroicocephalus ridibundus. Ridibundus means “Laughing”
There is a different species called Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla). Atricilla means “Black-tailed” (Laughing Gull does not have a black tail in most plumages)
And yes, there is indeed a fourth species called Black-tailed Gull.
And another tack for those of us who like words and sounds—some alliteration and assonance in common names. Quite a few birds have alliterative names with three words, e.g.
And so on. But are there any creatures with names of four words all starting with the same letter?
When it comes to assonance, can any common name beat (or even match) the perfect rhymes of Polyplax serrata, the house mouse louse?
I wonder what the origin of this name is, I haven’t been able to find any info on it. Yet .
Sobralia xantholeuca and Sobralia leucoxantha are a confusing pair, I have to look up which is which every time.
a sobriety test for taxonomists, perhaps?
In the Clements checklist, there are no birds with four words starting with the same letter. However, if we count compound words, there are 3:
- Black-breasted Boatbill
- Black-backed Butcherbird
- Buff-banded Bushbird
There are also a few examples of double double alliteration
- Boat-billed Tody-tyrant
- Buff-breasted Tody-tyrant
- White-winged Cliff Chat
And finally just wanted to point out one that has a nice ring to it:
The longest bird name in words is 6, King-of-Saxony Bird-of-Paradise.
The longest in letters is 30:
- Middendorff’s Grasshopper-Warbler
- Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
- Rufous-vented Paradise-Flycatcher
- Yellow-throated Mountain Greenbul
- Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush
- Fulvous-chested Jungle-Flycatcher
- Chestnut-tailed Jungle-Flycatcher
- Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager
The shortest is two letters: Ou
Letting my inner 12 year old out to enjoy this.
Sordid dart moth
Sordid moth (notice how they did that)
Wandering Brocade moth
Sensitive Fern Borer Moth
endless fun with the leps…truly