As per the title, what are some interesting taxa with names that make them sound like fairytale creatures? The Wizard butterfly/Rhinopalpa polynice or the Eternal Flame/Goeppertia crocata are good examples of this. I have a list of some that I shared over on another topic and someone suggested that I make my own. Of course, I have to give the people what they want, so here we are! Any suggestions on more that I could add?
I’ve always liked Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa). And it’s gorgeous, too.
Some of these might fit in:
Calophlebia karschi - Jewel Elf
Anax gladiator - Swordbearer Emperor
Rhyothemis semihyalina - Phantom Flutterer
Palpopleura vestita - Silver Widow
Hadrothemis vrijdaghi - Golden-winged Jungleskimmer
Zygonoides fuelleborni - Southern Riverking
Tetrathemis polleni - Black-splashed Elf
Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus - Goldspotted Sweetlips
Zophopetes dysmephila - Palm-tree Nightfighter
Notiothemis jonesi - Eastern Forestwatcher
Precis octavia - Gaudy Commodore
Pareronia valeria - Wanderer
Goodia kuntzei - Lunar Prince
How about the cactus-specializing leaf footed bugs in the genus Narnia?
Camacinia gigantea - Sultan
Camacinia othello - Black Knight
Epallage fatime - Odalisque
Brachygonia oculata - Pixie
Indothemis limbata - Restless Demon
Lathrecista asiatica - Bloodtail
Orchithemis - Sentinels
Rhodothemis rufa - Red Bolt
Idionyx yolanda - Shadow Dancer
Lindenia tetraphylla - Bladetail
Libellago aurantiaca - Fiery Gem
Philoganga vetusta - Ochre Titan
My favorite lilly and one of my favorite flowers overall is this species that lives in healthy redwood forests in California. It’s called California fetid adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii). It has petals that are striped white and an almost black dark purple. I first learned about it when I saw one blooming in Muir Woods and I thought that “fetid adderstongue” sounds like an ingredient in some sort of magic potion or something like that
isn’t particularly fairytale like namewise but i always thought: Diachrysia (particularly the burnished brass’s) had cool names… but most of all they sort of look like they would belong in some fantasy land, because their wings look as if they are made of gold!
Diachrysia chrysitis burnished brass
Diachrysia balluca hologram moth
Diachrysia stenochrysis tutt’s burnished brass (i have know idea if it had anything to do with the pharaoh but that adds to the allure).
the other species in the genus look cool but have far less creative names.
Hummingbirds have some of the most remarkable names in the bird world…any of these could easily be a character in a fairy tale or fantasy series:
There are two tiny butterflies that come to my mind- Drupadia cinderella and Drupadia cindi. Both are rare and only found in Borneo
Two that come to mind right away!
Eudryas grata - Beautiful Wood Nymph
Acronita exilis - Exiled Dagger
A quick look through my observations reveals:
Rankinia diemensis Mountain Dragon
Kennedia prostrata Running Postman
Drosera glanduligera Pimpernel Sundew
Eryngium vesiculosum Blue Devils
Genus Cladonia Pixie Cup Lichens
Ophioglossum lusitanicum Austral Adder’s-Tongue
Pultenaea juniperina Prickly Beauty
Caladenia latifolia Pink Fairies
Calochilus paludosus Red Beard Orchid
Diplazium australe Austral Lady-Fern
Pterostylis tasmanica Small Bearded Greenhood
Cruentomycena viscidocruenta Ruby Bonnet
Thyridia repens Creeping Monkey-Flower
Marasmiellus candidus Fairy Parachutes
Utricularia dichotoma Fairy Aprons
Comesperma volubile Love Creeper
Cassytha glabella Slender Devil’s Twine
Parvulastra exigua Dwarf Cushion Star
Caladenia alata Fairy Orchid
Pterostylis nana Dwarf Greenhood
Calycina citrina Yellow Fairy Cups
Spiranthes australis Austral Ladies’-Tresses
Sulphur-bearded Reedhaunter (Limnoctites sulphuriferus)
Butterflies have some good ones. My favorite is Red Admiral, sounds like a character in the story that people talk about in hushed and fearful tones.
California Fairy Bee (Perdita californica)
Calypso bulbosa is fairy slipper.
And Androsace septentrionalis is called fairy candelabra.
Some of my PNW local favorites:
- Alpine Enchanters Nightshade (Circaea alpina)
- Ocean Spray Fairy Moth (Adela-septentrionella)
- Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa)
- The Goblet (Pseudoclitocybe cyathiformis)
- Witches Hat (Hygrocybe conica/complex)
- Fairy Parachutes (Marasmiellus candidus)
- Bleeding Fairy Helmet (Mycena haematopus)
- Elfin Saddles (Helvella)
- Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)
What about the black witch (Ascalapha odorata)?
I know an insect with caligrapher in its name but I’m not sure if this is good.