Curiosities of biological nomenclature

Under this title Mark Isaak has an interesting website ( about remarkable names given by taxonomists. His website is divided into several categories, each with several pages, e.g.:

– Etymology: e.g., named after people, names from mythology, fictional characters, acronyms (I could imagine using encebeus 😉
– Puns: e.g., double meanings, funny-sounding, plays on familiar words;  
– Wordplay: e.g., unusual letter combinations, isograms, anagrams, palindromes and reversals, rhymes and alliterations.

There are many examples given on this website, some of which are from malacology. However, the most vivid description of remarkable names in malacology may be found in Dance (2009). 

For those who like to play with words, or can see the humor of other people playing with them, certainly both the site and the paper are a ‘must-see’.

Dance, S.P., 2009. A name is a name is a name: some thoughts and personal opinions about molluscan scientific names. – Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83: 565-576. 

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