Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rude Plants

A gardening friend recently shared a website called curioustaxonomy.net, which lists scads of funny scientific names for plants and animals.

Be Sure to Read These Aloud

Arses (the monarch flycatcher)

Dolichuranus (a Triassic therapsid)

Eubetia bigaulae (a tortricid moth... you might need to read it a few times, by golly)

Pison eu (a sphecid)

For the Fourth Grade Boys

Batrachuperus longdongensis (a salamander)

Botryotinia fuckeliana (a plant pathogen fungus) and Didymella fuckeliana, both named for a guy whom we could subject to Fun with Germanic Surnames: Karl Wilhelm Gottlieb Leopold Fuckel.

Bugeranus (the wattled crane)

Colon rectum (a leiodid beetle)

Dorcus titanus (a stag beetle)

Enema pan (a rhinoceros beetle)

Fartulum (a tiny caecid gastropod that is rather like a turd in shape and color, too)

Narcissus assoanus (rushleaf jonquil, a U.S. lily)

Soranus (a fish)

Texananus (a leafhopper)

Turdus (includes the robin and thrush)

Found in Translation

Brachyanax thelestrephones (a fly, which translates from Greek as "little chief nipple twister")

Coprosma foetidissima (a New Zealand shrub whose name means "very smelly dung." Its leaves produce an offensive odor when rubbed

Eucritta melanolimnetes (a fossil amphibian whose name loosely translates as "Creature from the black lagoon")

Halticosaurus (a Late Triassic theropod... translates to "leaping lizard!")

Lycoperdon (the common puffball, whose name means "wolf-fart." In Spanish, the common name is "pedos de lobo" -- "wolf farts")

Orchidaceae (orchids) from Greek "orkhis," testicle, referring to the appearance of the plants' pseudobulb. It was once believed that terrestrial orchids sprang from the spilled semen of mating animals.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis (a squid relative, whose name means "vampire squid from Hell")

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