Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak
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Wordplay: Charades

Agra ce Erwin, 2010 (ground beetle) Named for ornithologist Grace Servat. In the same paper, Erwin named another species Agra grace. [Zookeys 66: 1]. Other Agra charades named by Terry Erwin are: Agra dation (1987), Agra phite (1987), Agra tuitis (1987), Agra vate (1986), Agra vation (1983).
Cathartesaura Gallina & Apesteguía, 2005 (Cretaceous sauropod) "Etymology: Cathartes, for the extant vultur genera abundant in the quarry area; saura (Greek), fem. lizard, reptile. Additionally, it implies the combination of the generic and specific names of those vultures (Cathartes aura Linnaeus, 1758)." [Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 7(2): 154]
Katianira Hansen, 1916 and Natalianira Kensley, 1984 are the only two named genera in the family Katianiridae (isopods). They appear to be named after the Russian women's names Katia and Natalia, but such was not intended. Katianira probably derives from greek katias (stylet) + Janira (isopod genus name). Natalianira derives from the name of the Natal province + Janira.
Kenothecaster (fossil starfish) Named by John Branstrator from Greek kenos empty + theke case or box + aster star, since the starfish had incompletely skeletally filled arms. Not coincidentally, his advisor was named Kenneth E. Caster.
Neardisaster (fossil starfish) From Greek ne not + ardis point + aster star, referring to the absence of distinct edges around the mouth. Both of these names were presented only in an unpublished 1975 PhD dissertation ("Paleobiology and Revision of the Ordovician Asteriadina [Echinodermata: Asteroidea] of the Cincinnati Area") by John Branstrator, so the names are not valid by ICZN rules.
Mimetaster (Devonian arthropod)

Names of plant families conventionally end with "-aceae". Names of plant tribes end with "-eae". When the root name ends with "-ac", the tribe name appears, falsely, to be a family name:
Bombaceae (Bombacaceae)
Dipsaceae (Dipsacaceae)
Olaceae (Olacaceae)
Portulaceae (Portulacaceae)
Smilaceae (Smilacaceae)
Tripsaceae (Poaceae)

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