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Binomium ridiculus

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Left to right: Geococcyx californianus and Canis latrans. But that's not terribly funny, is it?

"And here we are, in the natural habitat of the Moobus gelatinous, spending today as he does every day, sheltering himself from responsibility. But what's this? It seems a nearby Kickbuttus hystericus is returning from a successful hunt."
Gumball (referring to his parents), The Amazing World of Gumball, "The Tape"

Now, if you look over here, you will see that we have an example Tropinius autodescriptans which was recently mounted for display. Note the fine Latinate canines. As you can see, this particular T. autodescriptans is of the schisomates subspecies, which is believed to have split off from the parent C. latinicus some time in the mid-18th century...

Or put another way, Canis Latinicus (or at least Gratuitous Latin) as specifically applied to ersatz species names, used either to make something sound scientific or to poke fun at such uses.

In biology, the formal naming system used for describing species is known as binomial nomenclature (that is to say, "naming using two names"). It was developed by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeusnote  in the early part of the 1700s as part of the larger system he created for classifying organisms.Extended explanation 

Discovering and describing a new species is Serious Business, but part of that business is getting a chance to put your personal mark on scientific history by choosing the species name, so a certain amount of whimsy is allowed. As a result, Binomium ridiculus is often Truth in Television, as the discoverers can use almost anything that suits their fancy: place names (usually where the specimen was found, but not always), names based on the discoverers' names, names of the expedition's patrons, names of famous individuals who have some tenuous resemblance or connection to the organism, anything.Examples  For example, The Other Wiki has a Long List of species named after celebrities.

Given all of this, it is natural for writers to make fun of these sorts of names, or at least mimic them when trying to sound smart.

Sub-trope to both Canis Latinicus and Gratuitous Latin. Sister trope to Whateversaurus, which often uses a Binomium ridiculus for the dinosaur's name. Often part of a Wildlife Commentary Spoof. Authors who are being fast and loose with scientific accuracy may apply this as Techno Babble to make their absurd claims seem like less of an Ass Pull.


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    Advertisus commercii (Advertising) 
  • In a commercial for Energizer batteries featuring Wile E. Coyote, Wile E. is introduced as "Pursuis Rabbitus Energizus", and the Energizer battery that powers the Energizer Bunny is introduced as "Powerus Never Stopus".
  • Levi's Jeans had an ad campaign in the late 80s/early 90s about the various types of people who wear their jeans, including Hoopis Alleyoopis and Hippis Hoppus Rappionis.
  • Devour made a commercial for their buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese featuring a safari hunt for the "Carnivorous devourus".

    Media japonica (Anime & Manga) 
  • In the Italian dub of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Kine the talking fish is referred to as a Nasellus loquacis (talking nasello). This is also a Dub Species Change, as he is an ocean sunfish (Mola mola) in the Japanese version. Once more, in the English dub, he is misidentified as a blue surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus).

     Artem visualis (Arts) 
  • The Future Forest: Cocacobra Diabolus is a snake whose body is made of bottle caps and has an amusingly big head. Coca is Spanish for the cocaine plant and diabolus resembles the word for devil (diablo).

    Comicus liber (Comic Books) 

    Opus fandomī (Fan Works) 
  • In Chapter 68 of The Victors Project, Johanna does bird calls/sex noise impressions of the other Victors while employing copious amounts of such 'scientific names' in her performance in the Victors' Talent Show. These include the Brutus overextenious, the Connorus wankerus, the Abernathy drunkus and the Mags stillridinghardus.

    Folklorus mythicalis (Folklore and mythology) 
  • In Scottish folklore, there is an animal known as the "Wild Haggis" or "Haggis Scoticus".
  • Quite a few cryptids have names in cryptozoology. Yeti (Dinanthropoides nivalis) and the Loch Ness Monster (Nessiteras rhombopteryx). (The Nessie one was coined by the naturalist Sir Peter Scott, and it was almost immediately noted that it was an anagram of "Monster hoax by Sir Peter S." Sir Peter retorted that if that were intentional, he would have fitted the rest of his name in.)
  • Quite a few old Native American folkloric creatures have scientific names. Some even more silly-sounding than others.

    Peliculus animatii (Films — Animation) 
  • Alice in Wonderland: When the talking flowers ask Alice what species or genus she belongs to, she refers to herself as a "Genus Humanus Alice". Justified in that she is a little girl, and does not understand how scientific terminology works.
  • The VW Beetle insects from Cars are named "Vroomaroundus bugus".
  • The Croods: A lot of their prehistoric Mix-and-Match Critters have these made up by the writers. For instance, the Punch Monkey is Jabbinbash arboriannai, the Girelephant is Mammoth frecklarium, and the Piranhakeet is Flockinlots devourus.
  • The Curse of the Were-Rabbit reveals that the Loch Ness Monster has the scientific name Touristus trappus, despite the real name being Nessiteras rhombopteryx, though the writer was most likely unaware of this. Other cases include the titular Were-Rabbit being Carrotus apetitus giganticus and the Were-Cow Numerous pendulus udderis.
  • The title character in Megamind improvises the name of a spider to make it sound more threatening, "Arachnis deathicus."
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines: Near the end of the movie, Aaron wears a shirt depicting a dinosaur with his face on it, the "Aaronosaurus". Its scientific name is likesium fruitsnacksium.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): When the creatures of Klugetown are getting closer to the Mane Six and Spike, Capper saves them at the last moment, lying to everyone saying that the Ponies are infected with Pastelus coloritis.
  • In the movie Rio 2, Bia's pop-up book has an anaconda listed as "Anacondus Giganticus".
  • It's easy to miss but in Tarzan, Professor Porter refers to rhinos and baboons as Rhinoceros bihornius and Theropithecus babunious respectively, neither of which is the actual scientific names of any real-life species of rhinoceros or baboon. Theropithecus is a legitimate genus but it refers to the gelada baboons living in the Ethiopian highlands, while the "true" baboons seen in the movie belong to the genus Papio. Similarly, Rhinoceros is a valid genus... for the one-horned Indian rhino, whose species name is unicornis.
  • Treasure Planet has a species of Space Whale that Dr. Doppler identifies as "Orcus galacticus".
  • A plot point in Zootopia involves a fictional variant of crocus with the plausible-sounding scientific name Midnicampum holicithias, which turns out to be commonly known as "night howlers".

    Peliculus vivactionis (Films — Live-Action) 
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot's rap sheet mentions that his species is "Flora Colossus".
  • The "tooth fairies" in Hellboy II: The Golden Army are given the scientific name Carcharodon calcarea, which however is similar to the actual scientific name of the great white shark.
  • Paddington: The scientific name for Paddington's species is given as Ursa marmaladus on the museum exhibit Millicent Clyde created for Paddington. Paddington himself is supposedly a spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), though he doesn't really look like one.
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy makes a direct reference to the Road Runner cartoons. When LeBron James is running from Bugs Bunny, who is driving an Acme truck, the scene freezes to show faux scientific names for them.

    Opus literatici (Literature) 
  • In the book After Worlds Collide, one of the scientists who has landed on Bronson Beta starts attempting to do this to the animals that he is discovering there. Ultimately subverted, because someone points out that even if it weren't silly to name things in a dead language from a destroyed planet, a lot of the existing names were intrinsically silly anyway (the specific example given was the striped skunk, whose binomial name translates to "smelly smelly"). He's told to just use English to keep things simple.
  • H. L. Mencken, in several writings, examined the traits of the species known as Boobus americanus, widely distributed within the United States.
  • In Momo, a group of children play a make-believe game where they're explorers discovering new sea creatures. At one point they get into a debate about whether the creature they've found is a Blancmangius viscosus, a Jellybeania multicolorata, or a Chocolatus indigestibilis, and later they find the last living specimen of the majestic Teetotum elasticum.
  • The title of Raditya Dika's third book, Radikus Makankakus (Bilingual Bonus side-note: "makan kakus" literally means "eating toilets").
  • Great A'Tuin, the colossal space-swimming turtle on which the Discworld rests, is given the species name Chelys Galactica.
  • Largely averted in the field guide for the InCryptid series on the author's website (Seanan McGuire studied herpetology in college)...
    • But lampshaded with the cactus cat:
      It must first be noted that whomever thought of using "Cataceae" as the genus for the cactus cat deserves to be glared at. "Cactaceae" is the genus name for the common (vegetable) cactus. Puns do not belong in species taxonomy.
    • The scientific name for bogeymen is Vestiarium sapiens (thinking closet).
  • Almost completely averted with Dougal Dixon's works, as he is a professional science writer and gives his Speculative Biology books a veneer of scientific accuracy. The Oakleaf Toad from After Man: A Zoology of the Future, however, gets the genus name Grima, no doubt in reference to its worm-like tongue.
  • In Dr. Fegg's Encyclopeadia of All World Knowledge, the Turkish Little Rude Plant (originally featured in a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch parodying David Attenborough's nature documentaries), which resembles a bare bottom when its leaves are uncovered, is taxonomically identified as Buttoxia enormosa.
  • The Snouters: Form and Life of the Rhinogrades includes a few bizarre taxonomy for the strange Rhinogrades of the Hy-yi-yi Islands, such as Tyrannonasus imperator, Otopteryx volitans, Hopsorrhinus macrohopsus, Mercatorrhinus galactophilus, Archirrhnos haeckelii, Emunctator sorbens, Rhinotaenia asymmetrica, Rhinotalpa phallonasus, etc.
  • In The Star Diaries, during the Eighth Voyage the protagonist learns that alien scientists refer to humans by the scientific name Monstroteratum furiosum; the rest of their phylogenetic classification for humans is similarly pretty much a long string of insults.

    Televisi directactionae (Live-Action TV) 
  • Good Eats often gives the actual scientific name of ingredients (e.g. Brassica oleracea for cabbage...and broccoli...and Brussels sprouts...and much else). However, from time to time, a fake name will be given to a manufactured ingredient (e.g., a cheese) or to a highly-processed one (e.g., Blackus incanus for sliced black olives in a can).note . The joke is carried on to Iron Chef America (of which Alton is the host).
  • Lost in Space (1965) subverts this when Dr. Smith announces in horror the arrival of "Canis lupus, the werewolf". "Canis lupus" just means ordinary wolf.
  • Doctor Who originally called its Lizard Folk the Silurians, after the Silurian epoch. Later writers, having learned that was the wrong epoch for the time frame they were trying to establish, called them "Homo reptilia" instead. This is also problematic, as being reptiles, they could not possibly be members of the mammalian Homo genus.

    Ludus tabletopii (Tabletop Games) 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 1st Edition Advanced D&D. Most dragons are in the family Draco and have Canis Latinicus genus, species, and subspecies names that reflect their natures or Breath Weapon.
      • The Monster Manual had the following: Black = Causticus Sputem, Blue = Electricus, Brass = lmpudentus Gallus, Bronze = Gerus Bronzo, Copper = Comes Stabuli, Gold = Orientalus Sino Dux, Green = Chlorinous Nauseous Respiratorus, Red = Conflagratio Horriblis, Silver = Nobilis Argentum, White = Rigidus Frigidus.
      • Monster Manual II. Cloud = Cumulus Welkin, Mist = Nebulus Obscura.
    • Basic D&D supplement GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar. The humanoid species are given Latin-sounding genus, species (and sometimes subspecies) names.
      • Bugbears: Ursus Bipedis Bugburianis, Ursus Bipedis Vulgaris, Ursus Bipedis Hyborianis
      • Gnolls: Canis Erectus Meridionum, Canis Erectus Septentrionum, Canis Erectus Hilarus
      • Goblins: Goblinus Occidensis, Goblinus Oriensis, Goblinus Goblinus, Goblinus Hyborianus
      • Hobgoblins: Goblinus Fortis, Goblinus Grandis
      • Kobolds: Canis Minor Militaris, Canis Minor Rapidus, Canis Minor Numerus
      • Ogre: Homo Monstrum Bellicosus, Homo Monstrum Brutalis, Homo Monstrum Grossus
      • Common Orc: Orcus Porcus, Orcus Hyborianis, Orcus Imperator Rex

    Ludus videi (Video Games) 
  • Bonk's original Japanese title is "PC Genjin", meaning "PC Barbarian" and a pun on the name of the system it was released for, PC Engine. Ostensibly, the "PC" in his name stands for Pithecanthropus Computerurus.
  • Club Penguin: Dot once refers to crabs as "Clubpenguinus Crabus" (with the name of the species also being capitalized) after creating a crab costume.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Professor von Kriplespac describes Conker's species as Furrius squidgetterius.
  • Gurglewocky from Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams has the scientific name "Oneirophagus Rex".
  • Played for Laughs in Granblue Fantasy. The in-game description of the Gorilla summon mentions its scientific classification as "Gorilla gorilla phantagrandus".
  • The Vortigaunt species in Half-Life is "Xenotherium subservilia" or "Subservient alien beast". The real Latin word for "subservient" is "subserviens".
  • In the Halo universe, all the Covenant species, in addition to having a nickname (e.g., "Elites") and a formal name ("Sangheili"), also have a faux-Latin scientific name ("Macto cognatus"). You can read all the names and the meanings behind them in this forum post.
  • The Head over Heels manual gives the title characters silly Latin-inspired names: Headus Mouthion and Footus Underium.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, you can help Tang with cataloguing the Vertumnan flora by making up scientific names for them such as Wonkius shrubbius and Purpleus grassium.
  • The Troggles in the Munchers games have the genus name "Trogglus" and species names such as "smarticus", "normalus", and "timidus". Only the last of these is a real Latin word (and it means exactly what it looks like). The Muncher is also identified as "Munchicus spriticus" in Word Munchers and "Munchicus digitus" in Number Munchers.
  • NetHack features coyotes as dungeon-monsters which in homage to Wile E. are (uniquely) labeled in this fashion.
  • In Pokémon FireRed and Pokémon Y, the Pokédex entry for Oddish gives it the scientific name Oddium Wanderus. No other Pokémon is given such a name in any entry in the series.
  • In Rayman: Revolution several of the bosses have fake Latin names. Boss Biditank is "Poubelus Agrovis", Boss Chenille (a large caterpillar) is "Kapounus Grobilus", and Grolem 13 (Guardian of the 4th mask) is "Bigum Aerum Tornadus Recyclus".
  • The Piranhacus Giganticus (a giant Piranha Plant) from the Super Mario Bros. series games.
  • The Nintendo Power guide for Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 divides enemies into classes with punny pseudo-Latin names. Edibilis Boringus are common, weak enemies that exist mainly for Yoshi to eat and turn into eggs; Harrassimentia Phlyoverus are Airborne Mooks; Projectilia Ritebakatchia shoot projectiles; Ucantia Defeatus are tough enemies, Invincible Minor Minions, and bosses; Mostosti Vomitonus let Yoshi breathe fire after eating them; and Dudim Phreykunoutonthis only contains Fuzzies.
    • While on Mario, one character guide said “Yoshi, properly known as T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas, had been held captive in an egg until Mario (Homo nintendonus) bopped along and rescued him."
  • In Beyond Good & Evil, you can scan any creature and be given a scientific name for it. This is useful when seeking rare creatures is your goal, but can also be done to people to learn their origins, since the planet is populated by dozens of different alien species. Notably, there are Funny Animals whose identifiers are based on those of their real-world animal counterparts. This seems to indicate that they came about as the result of Uplifting.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Inverted in the Old World Blues DLC, where the formal name for the Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is the given name for a unique Spore Plant (a type of genetically-engineered giant Venus Flytrap which spits toxic spores at the player) found near the 'X-22 botanical garden'.
  • Discworld: Rincewind has a run-in with the "Crockus Gittus, or common-or-garden boring old codger."
  • Sly Cooper has a species of giant wolf called "Lupus gigantomus". Which also happen to be regular, animalistic wolves in a setting of anthropomorphic animals.
  • The Discworld Noir manual mentions the Disc's version of Linneus, Linoleum, who came up with such classifications as Bonuus Canii (good doggies — werewolves), Hortus Decorus (lawn ornament — dwarfs), Stuitus Saxum (stupid rocks — trolls), and Nosferatu Sanguineus (bloody vampires). His death was ruled a suicide, although exactly which species he commited it through remains unknown.
  • The X-Encyclopedia gives fairly reasonable Latin names to all the major nonhuman species of the X-Universe, though the text admits that applying Terran nomenclature to extraterrestrials is inexact at best. In order: Sepioteuthis nishalaensis (Boronnote ), Vultur inflatius (Paranidnote ), Homo hodiensis (Splitnote ), and Varanus carpolucror (Teladinote ). It also puts the mysterious semi-insectoid Khaak in order Bilateria and the Sapient Cetacean Wenendra in order Cetacea.
  • The Flemoids from Chex Quest follow this naming convention, all in the "Flemoidus" genus. Flemoidus commonus, Flemoidus bipedicus, Flemoidus quadrumpus, and so on.
  • Psychonauts 2 has the Truheltia Memonstria, a trio of Foul Flowers that Raz fights within Bob Zanotto's mind. They're Bob's alcohol-warped perceptions of Truman, Bob's boss (and nephew) who fired him, Helmut, Bob's husband who he lost twenty years ago, and Tia, Bob's mother who died when he was young, as a memory monster triad.
  • Toe Jam And Earl: Many Earthlings follow this naming convention. Justified in that the terms were coined by aliens.
  • Starting with the Sea and Sandbox Update, default species names in The Sapling are generated from a series of roughly 300 vaguely Latin sounding suffixes with another syllable thrown on the front. Descendant species have a 60% chance of keeping the suffix of their parent species.

    Fabulae urbis (Urban Legends) 
  • A number of creatures from tall tales and urban legends have been given mock-scientific species names. These sometimes appear in parodies of scientific papers written as April Fools' Day jokes, or satirical magazines such as Annals of Improbable Research (one article in which proposed the scientific name Pretendosaurus barneyi based on the conclusion that Barney is more closely related to humans than dinosaurs). Others are given in guided tours or the like to give their exhibits added color. For example, one proposed name for the 'Australian Drop Bear'note  is Thylarctos plummetus.

    Animataea webae (Web Animation) 
  • "Road Runner Pinkie Pie" and "Road Runner Pinkie Pie 2" are another parody of the Looney Tunes cartoons, with Pinkie Pie as the Road Runner (Pinkius pieicus), and Rainbow Dash as Wile E. Coyote (Egges Headius in the first video, then Coolius Swaggitus in the second).

    Comicum webae (Webcomics) 
  • Latchkey Kingdom has multiple made-up species:
    • Rattas Dungeness, the dungeon rat. Diet consists largely of monsters and adventurers that have killed each other.
    • Pellicius Feria — "leather everyday" — a giant bat.
    • Here are Fulgur Muris — "lightning mouse" (Pikachu) and Adventurix Juvenalia — the protagonist.

    Originalum webae (Web Original) 
  • The Fiction Taxonomy Wiki, along with compiling many cases listed in this page, also tries to make serious binomial names for just about every fictional species or creature. Most follow scientific norm with Greek and Latin (The Grim Reaper = Torva messor), though other languages are used - the phyllum for ghosts and spectres is Yōkai.

    Video webae (Web Videos) 

    Animataea occidentalis (Western Animation) 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: "The Making of..." has several shout-outs to other shows, movies, and cartoons. One of them is a scene parodying the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, with Cruella in the role of Wile E. and Spot in the role of Road Runner. Spot is introduced as Birdae Multi-Spotticae, and Cruella is introduced as Designera Skinabonica.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Tape", Gumball records his family in what is a parody of nature documentaries. Richard is referred to as the Moobus gelatinous, Nicole is referred to the Kickbuttus hystericus, and Anais is referred to as the Runtus decepticus.
  • Bobby's World: In "Bobby's Big Broadcast", one of Bobby's imagine spots parodies the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, with Derek in the role of the former, and Bobby in the role of the latter. Derek is introduced as Largius Wolfus Dorkus and Bobby is introduced as Kiddius Imaginarius.
  • The Brothers Grunt: The earliest ancestor of the grunts is known as "Gruntus Not-Quite-Us".
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In "Blackfoot and Slim", the Wildlife Commentary Spoof introduces Dexter as Dexterius homogenius and Dee Dee as Deedicus deedicus.
  • The educational Goofy short "Freewayphobia" describes three different types of troublesome driver one might encounter on freeways in this fashion: there's the slow, timid, and overly-cautious Driverius timidicus; the bad-tempered, impatient, and aggressive Motoramus fidgetus; and the careless, inattentive Neglecterus maximus. The sequel "Goofy's Freeway Troubles" includes Stupidicus ultimus, the driver who neglects his vehicle's maintenance, drives exhausted or even drunk, and is generally careless on and around the freeway.
  • I Am Weasel: The episode "I Am Clichéd" had one for Weasel (Ferretis-i-am-is) and Baboon (Pinheadis-redbuttis) as a nod to the Roadrunner and Coyote themselves.
  • Looney Tunes: The Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons are a Trope Codifier for the parody use; in the opening scenes of most of them (pictured above is the one from "Going! Going! Gosh!"), the action suddenly pauses as a freeze frame showing either the Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote in a pose reminiscent of a museum diorama, with the Road Runner given names such as Speedius birdius or Speedometrus Rapidus, and Wile E. Coyote ones like Ravenus catchineatum or Famishus famishus.
    • The Soup or Sonic cartoon even gave the Road Runner's "beep, beep" a scientific name ("beepius-beepius").
    • There's also the short "Wild About Hurry", which combines Genius Bonus with Getting Crap Past the Radar: Wile E. is given the name Hardheadipus Oedipus — that is to say, hard-headed motherfucker.
    • Subverted in 2003's "The Whizzard of Ow" in which the actual binomial names were used: Canis latrans for the Coyote (barking dog — ironic when you realize Wile E. almost never speaks) and Geococcyx californianus for the Road Runner (Californian cuckoo that runs on land).
    • The Bugs/Wile E. outing "Rabbit's Feat" has Wile E. in pursuit of the common western rabbit. "Rabbitus Idioticus Delicious... I believe that's the scientific term for it."
    • And in "Stop! Look! And Hasten!", Wile E.'s Burmese Tiger Trap catches a Burmese Tiger, Surprisibus! Surprisibus!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", while Twilight is observing Pinkie Pie, she describes herself as observing the Pinkius pieicus in its natural habitat, and she totally didn't just make that up.
  • The Simpsons:
    • One episode gave a direct nod to the Road Runner series by having a freeze-framed Bart and Homer identified as "Bratus Don'thaveacow'us", and "Homo Neanderthalus" respectively.
    • Another Road Runner parody appears at the beginning of "The Scorpion's Tale", where a photorealistic road runner and coyote and labeled Propertus Warnerbros and Copyrightus MCMXLIX, respectively. Otto then runs over the road runner and is labeled Licensis suspendibus.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has a couple examples.
    • In the episode "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic", King Jellyfish's Latin name is given as "Cnidaria Rex", which to be fair is real Latin. As "Cnidaria" is the phylum jellyfish belong to, and "Rex" being Latin for "king".
    • In the episode "Cephalopod Lodge", the moray eel is referred to as "Cantankerous Moray Eelius".
    • Briefly in another episode, Karen scans a disguised SpongeBob, and his species is list as "Spongist Buffoonist".
  • In a Shout-Out to Wile E. Coyote above, during an episode based on TV shows in Teen Titans, Beast Boy took Wile E. Coyote's place, taking on a form of Coyote, while Control Freak took Road Runner's place and he has the subtitle of Couchus Potaticus while Beast Boy gets Animalus Switcheroonium.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had one short called "Love Stinks", which introduced Calamity Coyote as "Devius Coyotius", Little Beeper as "Expedious Birdius", and Fifi le Fume as "Sexius Skunkius". Amazing that the censors let that one pass...
  • Referenced and subverted in the Wild Kratts episode "Liturgusa krattorum", in which the Kratt brothers have a preying mantis named in honor of their Real Life work in children's biology edutainment. Learning of this, Zack Varmitech attempts to re-name Shadow the black jaguar cub "Zackis greaticus", only to be chewed out by Aviva for how that's not how the nomenclature system works.

    Livum realisae (Real Life) 
  • Scientists, when naming new species, will often name them after famous scientists or political figures, though instead of "us," they often add "-i" (for the genitive case) instead. This gets really silly when the person being honored is named "Ishii".
    • An example that makes Aussies' skin crawl — a species of land snail now known by the scientific name Crikey steveirwini. Irwin also has a turtle named after him, Elseya irwini.
    • Strigiphilus garylarsoni, a biting louse named for the cartoonist of The Far Side, is only one example.
    • Terry Pratchett has an extinct species of turtle (what else?) (Psephophorus terrypratchetti) named after him, and kept a fossil of it on his desk.
    • Gingoites nannyoggiae, (at least, as reported by the Art of Discworld), the scientific name of a particular Mesozoic plant.
    • Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits has the Masiakasaurus knopfleri named after him (prompting many jokes about being an aging rock dinosaur).
    • At first, Jurassic Park's movie looked a bit odd to paleontologists, as the "velociraptors" were far too large (actual members of the genus Velociraptor were about the same size as chickens and turkeys). Then along came a discovery of a raptor-family dinosaur in Utah, every bit as big as the raptors in the movie and even bigger. It was dubbed Utahraptor spielbergi. Technically, the animal is now called Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. Another scientist, however, named a species of pterosaur (flying reptiles related to the dinosaurs) of the genus Coloborhynchus, "Coloborhynchus spielbergi", although its validity as a separate species of Coloborhynchus is currently under debate.
    • In addition, Jurassic Park Michael Crichton has both Crichtonsaurus and Crichtonpelta named after him. They’re ankylosaur species.
    • John Cleese has a lemur named after him. As far as cuteness goes, he wins.
    • Archeologists excavating a Mayan artifact site found a pictographic collection containing a carving of a very large, stylized snake; which they unofficially named "montypythonidies".
    • On hearing about the newly discovered spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi, Stephen Colbert demanded that he get an animal, too. The biologist in question duly named Aptostichus stephencolberti (also a spider).
    • Musician Sting has an Amazonian tree frog named after him—Dendropsophus stingi.
    • And then there's Calponia harrisonfordi, which is a primitive spider.
    • A species of mushroom has been named Spongiforma squarepantsii in homage to SpongeBob SquarePants.
    • There is a genus of dinosaur known as Gojirasaurus. Yes, named after that Gojira.
    • Same goes for Dracorex hogwartsia (which has been suggested in recent years to be just a juvenile Pachycephalosaurus), whose name roughly means "Dragon King of Hogwarts."
    • Vampyroteuthis infernalis (Infernal Vampire Squid), though that one falls more under Names to Run Away from Really Fast.
    • Aerodactylus scolopacipeps, formerly considered a species of Pterodactylus, is now a Pokémon.
    • There is a genus of tiny spiders named Predatoroonops, because the chelicerae on its face resembles the Predator mandibles. All the species names are homages to people and things from the original movie, such as Predatoroonops schwarzeneggeri.
  • During the massive re-evaluation of the Burgess Shale fossils by paleontologists at the University of Cambridge in the 1970s and 1980s, a number of previously unnamed specimens were examined, and a few others were renamed. They soon figured out that several of these were unlike anything in the modern world, or even in other fossil beds then known, which seems to have led to some inspired naming. Of these, a few stand out:
    • Hallucigenia sparsa was a mysterious worm-like creature that seemed so weird that Simon Conway Morris described it as being like something out of a drug trip.
    • An arthropod species with large chelicerae, which they happened to start studying in December, got nicknamed 'Santa Claws'. This led to the new genus getting the formal name Sanctacaris, with the type species being S. uncata.
  • There is an entire website devoted to proving that scientists have a sense of humor. Among others:
    • The fossil fly Carmenelectra shechisme (pronounced "she-kiss-me")
    • The three species of spider once thought to be members of the genus Nops, reclassified as Notnops, Taintnops, and Tisentnops
    • Another fly called Phthiria relativitae (the "ph" is silent)
    • And several species of fungus beetle called Gelae baen, Gelae belae, Gelae donut, Gelae fish, and Gelae rol.
    • A genus of very small frogs is called Mini, comprising the species Mini mum (the smallest frog currently known), Mini ature, and Mini scule.
    • A wasp named Aha ha.
    • A snail named Ba humbugi.
    • A damselfly named Umma gumma.
  • There is a species of trilobite whose full scientific name is Han solo. Seriously. The scientist who named it justified himself by saying it was in reference to the Han Chinese people (as the fossil was found in China) and the fact that it is the youngest of its family found to date, meaning it was likely the Last of Its Kind. He later claimed that he had been dared to name a species after a Star Wars character.
  • According to legend, even Linnaeus himself got in on the game, naming the notoriously foul-smelling Geranium robertianum after one of his childhood bullies.
  • Many zoos will print informational signage for exhibits under construction that describes the construction equipment as though they're living animals, complete with size, habitat information, a passage on their "behavior", and even a silly "scientific name"- this zoo came up with Shovelis maximus for a hydraulic excavator.
  • Bulbasaurus and Aerodactylus are prehistoric creatures named after Pokémon creatures. The only known species of the former genus is Bulbasaurus phylloxyron, with its specific name meaning "leaf razor" (a not particularly subtle reference to the Pokemon's signature move Razor Leaf). The name however is also legitimately descriptive of the creature: it had unusually bulbous nasal structure for a dicynodont and a razor-sharp beak for biting off leaves. The paleontologist who named it said those were the reasons for the name, but admitted the Pokemon references "may not be entirely coincidental".
  • Leaellynasaura is a dinosaur species named for the daughter of its discoverers.
  • Gasosaurus was dubbed as such because it was found by a gasoline company.
  • Irratator is a Spinosaur named because it was extremely irritating for the scientists to get the fossils clean.


Video Example(s):


Bia's Pop-Up Book

Bia's pop-up book has an anaconda listed as anacondus giganticus.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BinomiumRidiculus

Media sources: