Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak
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Puns: Plays on Familiar Words

Circus dossenus Olson and James, 1991 (harrier hawk) "Latin, dossenus, a clown or jester, without which one cannot have a circus." [Descr. of 32 n. spp. of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: I. Non-Passeriformes (Ornith. Monographs 45): 65]
Diastolinus this and D. that Steiner, 2006 (darkling beetles) "The specific name 'this' is from the Greek word meaning 'shore' or 'beach' in reference to the habitat of the beetle. . . ." D. that is named for the English pronoun, because it is found further away (inland) from D. this. [Zootaxa 1158: 24-29.]
Electrona (lanternfish)
Hummbrella S.A.Earle 1969 (red alga) Named for Dr. Humm.
Meteoria (deep-sea fish)
Obama Carbayo et al., 2013 (planarian) Not named after President Obama. The name derives from Tupi oba, "leaf", + ma, "animal", alluding to the Brazilian flatworm's leaf-shaped body. [Zool. Scripta 42: 523]
Ostentator Jaennicke, 1867 (bombyliid fly, synonym)
Pantydraco (prosauropod dinosaur) from Pant-y-ffynnon Quarry in Wales.
Problema (skipper)
Smilodonichthys rastrosus Cavender and Miller, 1972 (Miocene sabertooth salmon) Named for Smilodon, the sabre-toothed cat genus. A synonym of Oncorhynchus rastrosus.
Tyrannasorus rex Ratcliffe and Ocampo, 2001 (Miocene hybosorid scarab from Dominican amber) The dinosaur is spelled Tyrannosaurus. [Coleop. Bull. 55:351]
Tyrannoberingius rex Maricovich, 1981 (Miocene snail) It is several times larger than living Beringius species. [J Paleontol 55(1): 176]
Tyrannochthonius rex Harvey, 1989 (pseudoscorpion)
Tyrannomyrmex rex Fernández, 2003 (Malaysian ant) [Zootaxa 341:1]
Tyrannobdella rex Phillips, Siddal, et al., 2010 (Peruvian leech) "We named it that because of it's enormous teeth."
Vertebrata S.F. Gray, 1821 (red alga) There is also, of course, a subphylum Vertebrata for animals with backbones.

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