Curious Scientific Names


  • Aegrotocatellus
    – the Latin translation means «sick puppy»
  • Aegrotocatellus
    jaggeri – named after Mick Jagger (have a look at
    the genus transaltion – were the namers trying to say something)?
  • Arcticalymene
    viciousi, A. rotteni, A. jonesi, A. cooki,
    A. matlocki
    – named for the Sex Pistols
  • Avalanchurus
    A. starri – named after
    John Lennon and Ringo Starr
  • Celmus michaelmus
    – its abdomen looks like a Mouseketeer hat (Mickey Mouse ears).
  • Mackenziurus
    johnnyi, M. joeyi, M. deedeei, M. ceejayi
    – named after
    the Ramones
  • Milesdavis
    – named for Miles Davis
  • Merlinia
    – named after King Arthur’s wizard Merlin.
  • Norasaphus
    – named after Marylin Monroe because of its
    hourglass shape.
  • Perirehaedulus
    richardsi – named after Keith Richards (Rolling
    Stones guitarist)


  • Amaurotoma
    zappa (Gastropod) – also named after Frank Zappa.
  • Anomphalus
    (Gastropod) – named after Mick Jagger also.
  • Eucritta
    (amphibian) – loosely translates to «Creature
    from the Black Lagoon»
  • Excalibosaurus
    (Jurassic ichthyosaur) – named after King Arthur’s sword Excalibur
    – they have a sword-like upper jaw.
  • Frodospira
    (Silurian gastropod) – a small genus named after a well-known
  • Mestoronema
    (Fossil Snail) – named after the evil snail king in Doctor Who.


  • Aphyocharax yekwanae
    Tetra) – named after the Ye’Kwana Indians of the Caura River
    Basin (Venezula) where the fish is found.
  • Apistogramma
    (Dwarf cichlid)
    – named after the rubber tapper and rainforest defender Chico
    Mendes (misspelled).
  • Bidenichthys
    beeblebroxi (Triple-fin Blenny) – named after The
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy two-headed character Zaphod Beeblebrox-
    they have a false head pattern.
  • Chromidiotilapia
    mrac (African cichlid) – named after Musee Royal
    de l’Afrique Centrale.
  • Corydoras narcissus
    (Catfish) – named narcissus because the discoverers insisted that
    the describer name the fish after them . Narcissis was fascinated
    with his own image.
  • Discoverichthys
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the subersible Discover.
  • Draculo
    (Dragonet Fish) – named after Dragons.
  • Eeyorius
    (Australian fish) – named for the Donkey Eeyor in Winnie the Pooh.
    Like EEyor, it lives in damp, dark places.
  • Fiordichthys
    (Triple-fin Blenny) – named for the Hitchhiker’s
    Guide to the Galaxy character Slartibartfast, who was noted for
    designing fjords.
  • Grimaldichthys
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the Grimaldi
    family – reigning in Monaco
  • Inpaichthys
    (South American Tetra) – named after INPA, the Brazilian INstituto
    Nacional dePesquisas da Amazonia. Also named after INPA – Crenicichla
    inpa (
    cichlid), Aguarunichthys inpai
    (siluroid fish) and Bryconops inpai (Characoid fish)
  • Kali
    (Deep sea swallower fish) – named after the Indian Goddess Kali.

  • Lucifer
    (Fish) – named aftee the Devil
  • Mephisto
    (Spikefish) – also named after the Devil
  • Natalichthys
    (Fish) – named after the Oceanographic Research
    Institute (South Africa) and N. sam – named after
    the South African Museum where the specimen was found.
  • Pomadasys
    (Parrot Grunt) – peroteti means «small-breasted
  • Puck
    (Anglerfish) – named after the character in A MidSummer Night’s
  • Roloffia
    roloffi roloffi
    (Killiefish) – named after the describer
    Roloff. (Is now Scripaphyosemion)
  • Satan
    (Catfish) – a blind unpigmented catfish from the artesian wells
    near San Antonio (Texas). Found at depths bteween 1000 and 1250
    feet. The full name Satan eurystomus mean «wide-mouthed
    Prince of Darkness».
  • Satanoperca
    (Eartheater cichlid) – also S. daemon and
    S. jurupari
  • Sio
    (Deep sea fish) – named after the Scripps Institute for Oceanography.
  • Tanganicodus
    irsacae (Tanganyikan Goby Cichlid) – named after
    IRSAC, the Central African Science Research Institute.
  • Tomocichla
    (Cichlid) – named after the Association
    Francaise des Cichlidophiles
  • Zappa
    (Australian Goby) – named after Frank Zappa
  • Zoogonectius
    tequila (Goodeid Fish) – named after the alcoholic
    drink Tequila.

Gastropods and relatives

  • Buddhaites
    named after Buddha
  • Bufonaria
    (Sea Snail) – named after Boris Becker
  • Conus tribblei
    (Marine snail) – named after a pet cat called Tribbles, who was
    named after the furry creatures from Star Trek.
  • Godiva
    (Nudibranch) – nudi means naked and Lady Godiva was reported to
    have ridden naked through the streets of Coventry.
  • Mandelia
    (Sea Slug) – named after Nelson Mandela
  • Piseinotecus
    (Snail) – Piseintotecus means «I stepped
    on Teco». Teco was a dog belonging to a diva that the describers
    (Evelyne and Ernest Marcus) were staying with. One of them stepped
    on the dog on the way to the kitchen in the middle of the night.

Squid and relatives

  • Grimalditeuthis
    (Transparent squid) – named after the Grimaldis
  • Lepidoteuthis
    (Squid) – named for Prince Albert (Grimaldi)
    who pioneered the study of deep sea creatures (particularly squid).
    This squid was collected from the stomach contents of a whale.
  • Phialella zappai
    (Jellyfish) – named as part of the describers plan to
    meet Frank Zappa.
  • Vampyroteuthis
    (Squid relative) – means «Vampire Squid
    from Hell.
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