Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak
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Misc.: Survey of Source Languages

Scientific names have traditionally been derived from Latin and Greek, but many other languages have been used, too. This page gives examples of some of those languages.

Please note that I will not include most proper names here. Tangaroa, for example, is the name of a Tahitian god; it is not included here because the name is not derived from a Tahitian common word. Texas, though derived from Caddoan, does not belong here unless the genus is named for the Caddoan meaning ("friends") and not the location.

Acehnese: Thottea beungongtanoeh Mustaqim (flowering shrub) The name derives from Acehnese beungong tanoeh, "flower on the ground."
Afar: Ardipithecus ramidus (fossil hominid) "Ardi" means "floor," and "ramid" means "root". ("-pithecus" is Greek for "ape".)
Afrikaans: Patellapis (Chaetalictus) hakkiesdraadi Timmermann 2009 (bee) "Hakkiesdraadi" means "barbed wire", for the bee has bristles resembling barbed wire on its metasomal sterna. (It is also a brand of South African liquor, which the biologists discovered separately.) [Timmermann & Kuhlmann (2009), Zootaxa 2099: 1-188.]
Aimara: Hiskatherium Pujos et al., 2011 (Miocene ground sloth) Hiska means "dwarf" in this native Bolivian language.
Ainu: Chupkaornis Tanaka et al. 2017 (Cretaceous bird) Chupka is Ainu for "eastern" (and -ornis for "bird").
Aleut: Aaptos kanuux Lehnert, Hocevar & Stone, 2008 (sponge) kanuux is the Aleut word for "heart". [Zootaxa 1939: 65]
Alutiiq: Allocareproctus ungak Orr and Busby, 2006 (snailfish) Ungak is the Alutiiq word for "whiskers." [Zootaxa 1173: 32]
Amharic: Eragrostis tef (teff, an Ethiopian grain). "Teff" is from Amharic or a related language.
Arabic: Alanqa 2010 (pterosaur) from "Al Anqa", meaning Phoenix.
Arapaho: Aleiodes hiisiis Fortier, 2009 (braconid wasp) Hiisiis is the Arapaho word for "sun", referring to the wasp's bright yellow-orange head and thorax.
Australian aboriginal: Notopais minya Merrin, 2004 (isopod) minya is "small" in an unspecified aboriginal language from Australia.
Awa Pit: Cynomops kuizha Arenas-Viveros et al. 20201 (dog-faced bat) The epithet means "dog" in this Ecuadoran language.
Bahasa Indonesian: Lophopetalum tanahgambut Randi, Utteridge & Wijedasa (tree) Tanah gambut means "peat soil" or "peat swamp habitat", where the tree is found.
Bemba: Ichibengops Huttenlocker et al. 2015 (Permian protomammal) A combination of Bemba and Greek meaning "scar face".
Beothuk: Haootia Liu et al., 2014 (Ediacaran cnidarian) Meaning "spirit" or "demon" because the fossil "looks a bit creepy."
Berber: Adratiklit Maidment et al. 2019 (Jurassic stegosaur) From Berber adras tiklit, "mountain lizard".
Bésiro: Handroanthus abayoy Villarroel & G.A.Parada (tree) The specific epithet means "dwarf forest" and refers to the main type of vegetation where the species lives (in dry areas of Bolivia and Brazil).
Bicol: Lebinthus magayon Baroga-Barbecho & Robillard, 2020 (cricket) The epithet, in this Philippine language, is a term used to appreciate the beauty of a woman. Yes, it refers to the type specimens.
Blackfoot: Piksi Varricchio, 2002 (fossil pterosaur) From Blackfoot (aka Siksika) piksi, "big bird" or "chicken". The fossil, found on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, is known only from part of one wing.
Cahuilla: Aphonepelma xwalxwal Hamilton, 2016 (tarantula) The specific epithet refers to "a type of small spider" in the language of the Cahuilla Native Americans. [ZooKeys 560]
Cheyenne: Aleiodes maheono Fortier, 2009 (braconid wasp) Maheono means "spirit being".
Chinese: Shanweiniao Hou & Chen, 1999 (early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird) = "fan-tailed bird".
Choctaw: Micropterus haiaka Scopoli (Choctaw bass) Haiaka is Choctaw for "revealed". The bass was discovered in Alabama and Florida in 2013.
Creek: Catalpa Scopoli (tree) From kutuhlpa, literally "head with wings", referring to the flowers. (The Native American Catawba tribe is named after the tree.)
Crow: Suuwassea Harris & Dodson, 2004 (sauropod dinosaur) "first thunder heard in spring," from suu, "thunder" and wassea, "ancient".
Cumanagota: Mico Lesson, 1840 (monkey) From Cumanagota via Spanish, wherein mico also means "monkey".
Daga: Paedophryne dekot (frog) In Daga, a local language in Papua New Guinea, dekot means "very small." The frogs are about 9 mm long.
Dhivehi: Cirrhilabrus finifenmaa Tea et al. 2022 (fairy wrasse) The epithet means "rose" in this local language of the Maldives, referring both to the fish's hues and the nation's national flower.
Dieri: Wilaru Boles et al. 2013 (Oligocene/Miocene bird) "stone curlew" in the language of the South Australian Dieri (Diyari) tribe of the Lake Eyre region.
Duala: Epirhyssa tombeaodiba Rousse & van Noort, 2014 (wasp) The epithet is from tómbea ó dibá, meaning "to get married"; it refers "to Mrs Jackson's ambiguous marital status as reported by label data." [Euro. J. Tax. 91: 30]
Dutch: Bambusa (bamboo) From Dutch bamboes, deriving ultimately from bambu from Kannada (a language of southwestern India) via Malay and Portuguese.
English: Cafeteria Fenchel & Patterson, 1988 (ciliate) Said Fenchel, "We found a new species of ciliate during a marine field course in Rønbjerg and named it Cafeteria roenbergensis because of its voracious and indiscriminate appetite after many dinner discussions in the local cafeteria."
Fijian: Homalictus kaicolo Dorey et al. 2019 (bee) From the Fijian term "kai colo" (pronounced ky-thow-low), meaning "from the hills."
Finnish: Kiitoksia ystava Vors, 1992 (protozoan) Finnish for "Thank you, friend" (Kiitoksia ystävä). I don't know the back story.
French: Melanogrammus aeglefinus L. (haddock) The specific epithet is a latinization of French aiglefin, "haddock".
Gaelic: Dearcmhara (ichthysoaur) The genus name (pronounced "jark-vara") is Scottish Gaelic for "marine lizard." Scottish Gaelic is the traditional language on the island of Skye, where the fossil was discovered.
Gamilaraay: Eucalyptus coolabah Blakely & Jacobs (eucalypt) Name taken from the indigenous Gamilaraay (aka Kamilaroi and other spellings) word gulubaa of southeastern Australia.
Garo: Chikila Kamei et al. 2012 (caecilian) From the (Northeast India) tribal name of what the locals thought were deadly snakes. (They are harmless legless amphibians.)
Gaulic: Alosa (shad) From Gaulic "alausa", via Rome.
Georgian: Zelkova Spach (Ulmaceae tree) From the native name of Z. carpinifolia (Caucasian Zelkova) in one of the Kartvelian languages (of which Georgian is the most prominent).
German: Affecauda Hall & Chambers, 1999 (platyhelminth parasitic worm) From German Affe, "monkey" (plus Latin cauda, "tail"), because the worm's curled end looks like a monkey tail.
Greek: Drosophila (fruit fly) = "dew-loving".
Guarani: Netta peposaca (Vieillot, 1816) (rosybill) "Peposaca" transcribes the Guarani name, which means "showy wings". ("Netta" is ancient Greek for "duck".)
Hawaiian: Kikiki huna Huber & Beardsley 2000 (fairyfly) Kikiki and huna are both Hawaiian words meaning "tiny bit". With a body length of 158-190 μm, this wasp is the smallest known flying insect.
Hebrew: Marah Kellogg, 1863 (manroot) = "bitter", from the taste of all parts of the plant.
Hindi: Kapi Gilbert et al. 2020 (Miocene ape) From the Hindi word or ape or monkey.
i-Kiribati: Cirripectes matatakaro Hoban & Williams, 2020 (blenny) From mata, "eye" and takaro, "ember, burning coal", referring to the fish's eager-seeming eyes and red slashes on the face. The species was discovered in Kiribati.
Ilocano: Begonia naemma Y.P.Ang et al. 2022 (herb) The epithet means "shy" and "humble", reflecting the difficulting of noticing this Philippine plant among other herbs.
Indonesian: Mugilogobius hitam Larson et al., 2014 (goby) Hitam means "black" in Bahasa Indonesian. [Raffles Bul. Zool. 62: 724]
Inupiaq: Ugrunaaluk Mori et al., 2015 (Cretaceous hadrosaurid) meaning "ancient grazer".
Inuktitut: Tiktaalik Daeschler et al. 2006 (fossil lobe-finned fish) meaning "burbot" (a freshwater fish).
Japanese: Tsuga (hemlock, the conifer genus)
Javanese: Prionodon linsang (Hardwicke, 1821) (banded linsang) "Linsang" is the Javanese name for this family of mammal.
Kadazandusun: Betta nuluhon Kamal, Tan & Ng, 2020 (fish) The epithet means "hill", referring to the species' Malaysian hill stream habitat.
Kalaallisut: Issi saaneq Beccari et al. 2021 (Triassic sauropodomorph) Found in Greenland, the fossil is named "cold bone" in the local West Greenlandic language.
Kamchatkan: Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum, 1792) (rainbow trout) "Mykiss" derives from the local Kamchatkan name mykizha. (Several other Kamchatkan salmon/trout also have Kamchatkan names.)
Kannada: Hemiphyllodactylus jnana Agarwal et al. 2019 (gecko) The specific epithet is the Kannada word for "knowledge", given in honour of two scientific institutions in Bangalore within the grounds of which the species was first found.
Khakas: Kileskus Averianov et al., 2010 (Jurassic theropod) meaning "lizard" in this Siberian language.
Khmer: Orthotomus chaktomuk Mahood et al., 2013 (tailorbird) Chaktomuk means "four faces", referring to the confluence of the Tonle Sap, Bassac, and Mekong rivers at Phnom Penh, the bird's only known habitat.
Kichwa: Hyalinobatrachium yaku Guayasamin et al. 2017 (glassfrog) Yaku means "water".
Kiswahili: Euphorbia kalisana Carter, 1982 (African plant), a very spiny plant, from Kiswahili kali sana = "very fierce".
Kogi: Ikakogi ispacue Rada et al., 2019 (frog) "The specific epithet originates from the Kogi words 'tshi' and 'spákue', meaning 'twin of'." (It is morphologically identical to I. tayrona, the only other species in the genus.)
Kunza: Chilicola lickana Monckton, 2016 (bee) Lickana is the word for the Atacama region (the type locality) in the extinct language of the Atacama people.
Kwak'wala (Kwakiutl): Gwawinapterus Arbour & Currie, 2011 (Cretaceous pterosaur) Derived from Gwa'wina, meaning "raven", because of the similarity of this Canadian pterosaur to the stylized raven heads of the masks of the Kwakwaka'wakw tribe of the Vancouver Island area.
Lakota: Ekgmowechashala (Early Miocene primate) = "small fox-man".
Lao: Sinopoda tham Jäger, 2012 (spider) Lao for "cave" is tham. [Zootaxa 3415: 37; the paper includes several additional Laotian epithets.]
Latin: Ursus (bear) = "bear".
Makonde: chikungunya virus Named in 1955 from a Makonde word meaning "to become contorted."
Malagasy: Ravensara (laurel) from "ravintsara", meaning something like "good leaf".
Malay: Cananga (ylang-ylang, an aromatic tree)
Maori: Waimanu Slack et al., 2006 (Paleocene penguin) = "waterbird".
Mapudungun (Mapuche language): Willinakaqe Juárez Valieri et al., 2010 (hadrosaur) meaning "Southern duck mimic" (willi, south + iná, mimic, + kaqe, duck).
Marathi: Sahyadriana keshari Pati & Thackeray, 2021 (crab) The epithet is derived from the Marathi word for "orange-colored."
Marquesan: Campsicnemus aa Evenhuis 2009 (fly) From Marquesan 'a'a, "defender". See Repetition for the full set of Marquesan vowel flies.
Matsigenka: Dendropsophus kamagarini Rivadeniera et al, 2018 (frog) "Kamagarini" means demon or devil in the Matsigenka language. [ZooKeys 726: 25]
Mixteco: Charadrahyla sakbah Jiménez-Arcos (frog) The Mixteco language was used in recognition of the San Isidro Paz y Progreso community of Oaxaca, Mexico, for their conservation efforts; sa'bah means "frog".
Mongolian: Kol ghuva Turner et al. 2009 (theropod dinosaur) from Mongolian "köl" (foot) and "ghuv-a" (beautiful). This is also the third-shortest dinosaur name, after Yi qi and Mei long.
Moni: Dendrolagus mbaiso Flannery et al., 1995 (dingiso) The Moni people of West Papua revere this tree kangaroo as an ancestor and have taboos against hunting it. Its epithet mbaiso means "forbidden" in their dialect.
Moriori: Kupoupou Blokland et al., 2019 (Paleocene penguin) Means "diving bird" in the native language of Chatham Island, where the fossil was discovered.
Munduruku: Proceratophrys korekore Santana et al. 2021 The specific epithet means "frog" in this language of the Mundurukus of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Nahuatl: Manilkara zapota (sapodilla, a fruit tree) from Nahuatl "tzapotl". The family Sapotaceae has the same root.
Nali: Nactus kunan Zug & Fisher 2012 (bumblebee gecko) In the Nali language from New Guinea, kunan means "bumblebee", referring to the gecko's black and yellow coloring. [Zootaxa 3257: 29]
Navajo: Seitaad Sertich and Loewen 2010 (Jurassic saurischian) derived from the Navajo word, "Seit'aad," a sand-desert monster from their creation legend who swallowed its victims in sand dunes, as the dinosaur skeleton Seitaad had been found "swallowed" in a fossil sand dune.
Norse: Phanuromyia hjalmr Nesheim (wasp) The epithet is Old Norse for "helmet".
Nyanja: Niassodon mfumukasi (synapsid) Mfumukasi means "queen" (of Lake Niassa, per the genus name), a tribute to Nyanja matriarchal society, the women of Mozambique, and to Lake Niassa, near the fossil's discovery site.
Nyoongar: Haliclona djeedara Fromont & Abdo, 2014 (sponge) The specific epithet means "brown" in the Nyoongar language from south Western Australia. (A second species, H. durdong, means "green".)
Odia: Ahaetulla laudankia Deepak et al., 2019 (vine snake) "The specific epithet, laudankia, refers to the vernacular name of the species in Odia (language spoken in Odisha state of India), alluding to the snake's resemblance to dried stems ('danka') of bottle gourd ('lau')."
Oglala: Tatankacephalus Parsons & Parsons 2009 (Cretaceous ankylosaurid) From Oglala tatanka, "bison", and Greek kephale, "head".
Ojibwe: Esox masquinongy Mitchill, 1824 (muskellunge) The specific epithet is from the Ojibwa word maashkinoozhe, meaning "ugly pike."
Okinawan: Majimun Uyeno & Nagasawa, 2012 (copepod) meaning "demon".
Old English: Ieldraan Foffa et al. 2017 (Jurassic crocodyliform) The name means "older one".
Omaha: Aleiodes min Fortier, 2009 (braconid wasp) Min is the Omaha word for "sun", referring to the wasp's bright yellow color.
Paiute: Aleiodes pooedooa Fortier, 2009 (braconid wasp) The specific name means "abalone shell", referring to the wasp's carapace. The Paiutes originally lived near where the wasp was collected.
Patamona: Yaluwak Lujan & Armbruster, 2020 (armored catfish from Guiana). The genus is the Patamona Amerindian word for the species (and for larger fish in the same family).
Paumarí: Tapirus kabomani Cozzuol et al., 2013 (tapir) The local Paumarí name for tapir is arabo kabomani.
Pemón: Epidendrum katarun-yariku (orchid) Meaning "high flower", referring to the species being found at higher elevations.
Persian: Azadirachta A. Juss. (neem) From azad dirakht, literally "free tree", as the tree is ubiquitous in the Near East and serves as a source of medicine.
Pisabo: Stenolicnus ix Wosiack, Montag and Coutinho, 2011 (Brazilian catfish) Ix is Pisabo (a.k.a. Mayo) for "jaguar", inspired by the fish's coloring.
Polish: Dziwneono etcetera Dworakowska, 1972 (leafhopper) Dziwne ono = "it is strange".
Poqomchi Mayan: Bolitoglossa qeqom Dahinten-Bailey et al. 2021 (salamander) From the word q'eqom, meaning "dark", for the salamader's uniform purplish-black color and the darkness of the nights where the species was found.
Portuguese: Abobra Naudin. (cranberry gourd) From Portuguese abóbora, "gourd".
Powhatan: Asimina Adans. (pawpaw) The genus is derived from assimin, the tree's name among the Powhatan of Virginia.
Pwo Karen: Protobothrops kelomohy Sumontha et al. 2020 (pit viper) "Kelo-mohy" is from romanized words meaning "fire" or "thunder" (the vernacular name for the snake, probably referring to the pain of its bite) and "mothers that lay and tend eggs until hatching", referring to the maternal behavior of other Protobothrops and assumed to be the same for the new species.
Quechua: Chenopodium quinoa (quinoa) from Quechua "quinua" via Spanish.
Quenya: Litaletes ondolinde Van Valen, 1978 (Paleocene condylarth) From Quenya (an Elvish language invented by Tolkein) ondo "rock" + lindë, "song", referring to Rock Bench, a locality. Also from Quenya: Deuterogonodon noletil: nólë, knowledge, and til, horn. [See ref. with "Sindarin" below]
Rapa Nui: Luzonichthys kiomeamea Shepherd et al. 2019 (fish) Its epithet comes from its Rapa Nui (Easter Island) name, meaning "red fish that takes refuge in a cave."
Romanian: Balaur bondoc (sauropod dinosaur) The name means "stocky dragon".
Rotvælsk: Eviulisoma grumslingslak Enghoff, 2018 (millipede) The epithet means "pregnant" in a now-extinct cryptolect (secret language) spoken in Denmark until the turn of the 20th century. It refers to a gonopodal process of the millipede which somewhat resembles a pregnant woman's profile. [Eur J Taxon. 445:54]
Russian: Slonik sibiricus Zherichin, 1977 (weevil). Slonik means literally "little elephant".
Ryukyuan: Aphaenogaster gamagumayaa Naka & Maruyama, 2018 (ant) The specific epithet means "cave-dwelling hermit" in a Ryukyuan dialect (which some consider a dialect of Japanese); the ant is troglobiotic.
Sanskrit: Bruhathkayosaurus Yadagiri & Ayyasami, 1989 (Cretaceous sauropod) From Sanskrit (in South Indian transliteration) bruhath and kāya, meaning "huge body".
Serbian: Picea omorika (Pancic) Purk. (Serbian spruce) "Omorika" is simply the Serbian word for the tree.
Seri: Mustelus hacat Pérez Jiménez et al. 2005 (Smoothhound shark) Hacat means "shark" in the language of the Seri Indians of Tiburón Island and Sonora, Mexico. [Copeia 2005: 834.]
Seselwa: Urocotyledon norzilensis Lobón-Rovira et al. 2022 (gecko) The epithet derives from nor and zil, meaning "north" and "islands" in Seselwa, the official creole language of Seychelles.
Sesotho: Australopithecus sediba (South African fossil hominin) "sediba" = "wellspring."
Shan-ni: Garcinia yaatapsap K. Armstr. & P.W. Sweeney (Clusiaceae) From Myanmar; the specific epithet is the Red Shan vernacular name of the plant; it means "medicine to join the liver back together."
Shoshone: Aleiodes dabai Fortier, 2009 (braconid wasp) Dabai means "sun", referring to the wasp's bright yellow-orange color. [Zootaxa 2256]
Sindarin: Mimatuta minuial Van Valen, 1978 (Paleocene condylarth) The genus is from Sindarin (an Elvish language invented by Tolkein) mir + Matuta, Roman goddess of dawn. Epithet is from Sindarin minuial, "the time at dawn when stars fade". The species is from the dawn of the Cenozoic. Some other species with Sindaren etymology are Platymastus mellon ("friend"), Litomylus alphamon ("swan hill", referring to an Alberta locality), Chiacus calenancus ("green jaws"). [L. M. Van Valen, "The beginning of the Age of Mammals", Evolutionary Theory 4:45-80.]
Sinhala: Moschiola meminna (Erxleben, 1777) (Sri Lankan mouse deer) Sinhala (Singhalese) meeminna means "mouse-like deer".
Spanish: Sibon noalamina Lotzkat et al., 2012 (snake) From no a la mina!, literally "no to the mine". See Interesting Translations for more of the story.
Swahili: see Kiswahili.
Tagalog: Siphopteron nakakatuwa Ong & Gosliner, 2017 (bat-winged slug) The epithet is Tagalog for "amusing" or "cute". [Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 180: 755, doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlw018]
Tahitian: Campsicnemus hihiroa Evenhuis, 2009 (fly) From hihi, "eyelash, whisker" + roa, "long".
Taino: Zea mays L. (maize) "Mays" (variously spelled) is the Taino word for the plant.
Tamil: Anathana Lyon, 1913 (tree shrew). From the Tamil name moongil anathaan, "tree squirrel".
Tehuelchan: Alnashetri Makovicky, Apesteguía & Gianechini, 2012 (theropod dinosaur) Derived from the Günün-a-kunna dialect of Tehuelchan, meaning "slender thighs".
Tlingit: Caurinus tlagu Sikes & Stockbridge, 2013 (scorpionfly) Tlagu means "ancient, of the past"; the name is given to honor the place where the insect occurs (Prince of Wales Island), its people, and the apparent great age of the genus. [ZooKeys 316: 35]
Tok Pisin: Juncus nupela Veldk. (rush) nupela = "new thing". [Blumea 23: 415]
Toraja: Waiomys Rowe et al. 2014 (water rat) From the Toraja word wai, "water" (+ Greek mys, "mouse")
Tugen: Orrorin Senut et al. 2001 (hominid) Meaning "original man".
Tupi: Tapejara Kellner, 1989 (pterosaur) = "old being".
Turkish: Caracal caracal (African/Asian cat) from "karakulak", "black ear".
Twi: Sankofa pyrenaica López-Martínez & Vicens 2012 (Cretceous dinosaur egg) "Sankofa" is a Twi (Ashanti) word meaning "learn from the past." The egg was discovered in the Spanish Pyrenees.
Tzotzil: Choichix Cantalice et al. 2021 (Cretaceous fish) From Tzotzil choy, "fish," and ch'ix, "spines".
Umbundu: Breviceps ombelanonga Nielsen et al. 2020 (frog) From ombela ("rain") and anonga (frog) in this native Angolan language.
Ute: Yurgovuchia Senter et al., 2012 (theropod dinosaur) from the Ute yurgovuch, meaning "coyote", a predator of similar size from the same area.
Vietnamese: Lanonia (A.J. Hend., N.K. Ban & N.Q. Dung) A.J. Hend. & C.D. Bacon (palm) Vietnamese la non is the local name for the hat palm, L. centralis, used to make conical hats.
Welsh: Talpohenach Kay and Cartmill, 1977 (fossil primate) from talp o hen ach, "Piece (lump, fragment) from an ancient lineage"; also an anagram of Palaechthon
Wyandot: Ondatra Link, 1795 (muskrat) from its Wyandot name.
Xhosa: Gondwanascorpio emzantsiensis Gess, 2013 (Devonian scorpion) The root emzantsi- derives from the genitive of umZantsi, isiXhosa for "south", sometimes used to refer to South Africa. [Afr. Invert. 54: 377]
Yankunytjatjara: Ctenotus kutjupa Prates et al. 2022 (lizard) The epithet means "another one", referring to the species' discovery among collections of C. schomburgkii. The word is shared by several languages in the lizard's range in the Western Australia desert, including also Maralinga Tjarutja, Pitjantjathara, and Ngaanyatjarra.
Yokut: Hypochilus xomote Hedin & Ciaccio, 2022 (spider) The epithet means "south", referring to these spiders being the southernmost of the genus in the California Sierra Nevada, in a language historically used in the area.
Yuwaalaraay: Fostoria dhimbangunmal Bell et al. 2019 (Cretaceous iguanodontian) The epithet (pronounced "bim-baan-goon-mal") means "sheep yard" in the local Yuwaalaraay and Yuwaalayaay languages, after the Sheepyard opal field where the bones were found.
Zande: Niumbaha Reeder et al. 2013 (bat) The name means "rare" in the language of the Azande people of South Sudan and DRC. Only five specimens have been recorded.
Zapotec: Magnolia yajlachhi Domínguez-Yescas & Vázquez-García, 2019 (magnolia) The tree is known locally as yajlachhi, "flower of the heart" in Zapotec.
Zulu: Bonisa nakaza Gosliner, 1981 (gassflame nudibranch) Nakaza means "to adorn with beautiful colors."
Zuni: Jeyawati 2010 (hadrosaur dinosaur) The name, pronounced HAY-a-WHAT-ee, is derived from Zuni words meaning "grinding mouth".

Other root languages are represented in names that were given probably after the root name was westernized.

Amharic: Equus zebra (zebra) zebra = "zebra", adopted partly through Portuguese and Dutch.
Basque: Lainodon orueetxebarriai (upper Cretaceous mammal) Orueetxebarria is a common Basque family name meaning, in part, "new house".
Khoisan: Equus quagga Gmelin 1788 (extinct South African wild ass) quagga from "quahah", imitative of the animal's cry.

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