Longest species name?

I was idly wondering what is the longest name for a species…
My suggestion is 22 letters https://uk.inaturalist.org/taxa/1131240 [Pandanus longissimipedunculatus] - a member of the Screwpine Family


The longest one I’ve come across in a context where I’ve had to use it is Strongylophthalmyia angustipennis (a fly) at 32 letters. But the longest species name ever is apparently Myxococcus llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochensis (73 letters), named after Llanfair­pwll­gwyn­gyll­go­gery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch where the bacterium was originally collected.


Welsh is such a beautiful language.

There’s definitely a few fungi that clock in at above 25 letters - a few I can think of

Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata (26)
Rhizomarasmius pyrrhocephalus (28)
Candolleomyces candolleanus (26)
Tolypocladium ophioglossoides (27)
Callistosporium purpureomarginatum (32)


i don’t know, but taxonomists shouldnt be doing it. There needs to be a 10 character limit on both genus and species names and anyone who feels otherwise should have to write the name 300 times on ‘waterproof’ paper in a 50 degree rain. Yes there are some protocols that make people write out full names in the field, and stuff like “schoenoplectus tabernaemontani” are just uncalled for. Seriously. I know i’m the resident cranky names person but i dont see how anyone can believe it’s a good idea to let taxonomists do this stuff.


I tried to query it in the database of begin 2023 but I think Chrisangell already mentioned the winner.

scientificName length
Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum × Hypophyllocarpodendron hypophyllocarpodendron 86
Calystegia sepium roseata brummitt × calystegia silvatica disjuncta brummitt 77
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron hypophyllocarpodendron × pedunculatum 74
Myxococcus llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochensis 74
Oreotrochilus chimborazo jamesonii × oreotrochilus chimborazo chimborazo 73
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron hypophyllocarpodendron × truncatum 71
Angraecum crestwood - angraecum veitchii × Angraecum sesquipedale 66
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron canaliculatum × tomentosum 63
Leucospermum calligerum × Hypophyllocarpodendron canaliculatum 63
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron canaliculatum × rodolentum 63
Baculellum articulatum × senecio oxyriifolius tropaeolifolius 62
Heliconius melpomene aglaope × heliconius melpomene amaryllis 62
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron canaliculatum × parile 59
Leucospermum cordifolium × patersonii × tottum × glabrum 59
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron hypophyllocarpodendron 58
Puccinia stipae-sibiricae umbelliferarum-stipae-sibirica 56
Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus aurantioatrocristatus 55
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 55
Campylorhynchus zonatus × Campylorhynchus albobrunneus 55



I’m pretty sure I wore out some of the keys on my keyboard repeatedly typing ‘desarmillaria caespitosa’ this fall and its not even a super long one.

For some of them it kind of makes sense because they’re just describing a feature of the species that separates it from a similar genus/species - ex the genus Pholiota being altered to ‘Leucopholiota’ to separate out white-spored species, and that one is thankfully not too difficult.

but like in the field, especially without cel reception to double check? Especially where it has to be written multiple times - I can see that seriously being frustrating. Like the Welsh one above - hopefully no one ever has to remember how to spell that in the field that isn’t from that town. And hell, I’m pretty sure the whole point of the town name was a publicity stunt in the first place.


I think the longest species name that I’ve personally observed is the very fine gecko Cyrtodactylus australotitiwangsaensis (32)

Looks like that’s also the winner for a related topic: Where Do I Start With Pronouncing Scientific Names?

Who would stop them? The alternative is to let them name things after all their friends, which is being opposed now because some of them have had unsavory beliefs and behaviors. (I’m looking at you, Audubon.)

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Ophiognomonia clavigignenti-juglandacearum (Butternut canker) is the longest one I’ve encountered while browsing iNat. Still only 40 letters long

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Cipangopaludina chinensis is the longest one I’ve personally observed at 25 letters. Unless you count Corbicula fluminea sensu lato at 29. At this point, I just abbreviate the names (like C. fluminea s.l.)

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In the bird world–not counting trinomials (which should be disqualified in this competition!)–I enjoy reciting the name of the familiar Cactus Wren: Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus, which measures 30 letters if I’m counting correctly.

I just had a aneurysm reading that :joy:

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(30 letters - Campylorhynchus)
that’s tied for 2nd place among birds with Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae, Campylorhamphus trochilirostris, and Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus; the longest is Empidonomus—or, even longer, Griseotyrannusaurantioatrocristatus

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Too bad it was a bacterium. Can you imagine seeing that name in a field guide?

And the longest one I have actually managed to observe is Podosphaera erigerontis-canadensis (dandelion powdery mildew). Thirty-two letters (thirty-three if you count the hyphen)

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Guess what? That bacterial taxon is on iNaturalist, although there are no observations of it yet.

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