If you could rename an existing species

If you could rename any existing species, what species would it be?
What would it’s new name be?
I would rename the Magnificent Frigatebird the “American Heartbird”

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Thanks to a taxonomic revision, the shrub here in the Southwest that we used to call New Mexico Olive (a perfectly good name) is now called Stretchberry. Who came up with that name??

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I’d relieve the Barn owl of it’s terrible name and call it the Spectral Owl. It’s so otherworldly and ghost-like!

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I’d rename every species that is named after a person with something that’s descriptive of the species itself, the region/environment it’s found in, or what the indigenous people of the area call it.

I’m kind of sick of some many species having scientific and common names after the “discoverer”.

The Magnificent Frigatebird I’d leave as is for the common name. That’s a nice name and it is a magnificent bird.

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How about:
Black-bellied Plover to White-coverted Plover.
Sharp-shinned Hawk to Flat-tailed Goshawk.
Cooper’s Hawk to Round-tailed Goshawk.
American Three-toed Woodpecker to Barred Three-toed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher to Conifer Flyctacher
Cape May Warbler to Chestnut-cheeked Warbler

Then again, getting these changed would upset birders used to the old names they use, myself included.

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the smokey oak millipede, narceus gordanus, i was just saying the other day i wanted to rename it. i just think it deserves recognition for being so fat. OP never said the name had to be professional sounding, so i would like to rename it something like the fat/chunky scrub millipede, either one
just, make the narceus gordanus common name emphasize its shape because i love it

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But those aren’t taxonomic names! Why on earth would a taxonomic revision change them?

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Well, since we’re just being theoretical and not considering rules of nomenclature, how about changing the name of Anophthalmus hitleri (a beetle named after Adolf Hitler!)?

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I would magically change the scientific name of Polistes canadensis to something more like Polistes neotropicus. Not only does the species not occur in Canada, but it only occurs as far north as a smidgeon of Arizona (and ranges through South America).

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I’d rename every species that is named after a person…

Amen, brother!

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I tend to get red-lined carrion beetles in my porch area where I attract moths. Their name creeps me out because it makes me think that I could have something dead under the porch. Another moth friend also sees them frequently, and he suggested that we rename them “red-lined treasure beetles” and so that’s what I rename all the beetles in that group. Every time the word “carrion” appears, I change it to treasure. They sound much more delightful that way and it makes me smile when I see one. Of course, I only make this change in my internal thoughts, not when I post the pictures anywhere! Bring on the treasure beetles! :smiley:

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Butterflies would all be known as Flutterbys. It’s what they do. Butterfly?? Did a pat of congealed fat go past?

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Totally agree. It is nice to honor people, but it is very un-helpful for everyone else except them.

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oh yeah i forgot about that one… please change that one. and like didnt the name endanger the thing because a bunch of scumbags need to have their little hitler beetle?

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I’m a data guy and, so, here’s the counter-argument. The scientific name is essentially a key code for the species. It’s not recommended that key codes contain information about the entity, we just need a unique identifier (Granted, the binomial naming breaks the rule but why break it more.). Any information about something could possibly change. An honorific name is just a name. Pinus bobrossius is the happy pine, the one with the paintbrush-like needles. If it’s later found that some individuals have simple needles, it’s just more knowledge about the species. Pinus azuris was named for its blue color. Finding out that later that most of the populations are green makes the name a bit confusing.

A name is just a name.
(all names used in this post are fictional, any resemblance to actual species is due to your own imagination)

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Scilla peruviana, the Portuguese squill, a plant native to SW Europe and NW Africa, and completely absent from South America, let alone Peru.

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I would rename the jackdaw “Looks Like It’s Wearing Trousers Even Though It’s Not”.

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Yup, people’ve been trampling into caves and stripping them of beetles to profit off the bizarrely lucrative market for Nazi memorabilia, and the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature thinks its naming rules are more important than the existence of a species.

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This was probably put forward as a humorous view on names, but in case not I’ll point out that Linnaean taxonomy was originally intended to reflect the relationships between taxa, not represent them as discrete un-related entities

My rename? Homo sapiens to Homo destructus

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Several birds:
Bluebirds would be changed to Bluethrushes (Eastern Bluethrush)
Red-winged Blackbird to Red-shouldered Blackbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker to Red-necked Woodpecker
Oranged-crowned warbler to Non-Orange-crowned Warbler
Ring-necked Duck to Ring-billed Duck
Lucifer Hummingbird to Lucifer’s Hummingbird
Song Sparrow and Field Sparrow switch names.
Black-capped Chickadee to anything else; 7 species of chickadee and 5 of them have black caps, come on.
One I forgot, since Canada gets so many species named for them (Canada Jay, Warbler, Goose, Darner, Sitta canadensis), I think it’s only fair that the Bald Eagle should be changed to 'murican Eagle.

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