Anagrammatic naughtiness

After the strict scientific naming revolution of the eighteenth century, the nineteenth century gave way to a bit more word-play. Anagrams, for example, became one way of lightening the mood and of stretching an existing scientific name into related species groups. An example can be found in two kingfisher anagrams. Both Lacedo (L. pulchella, Banded … Read more Anagrammatic naughtiness

Gulls 1

Of the 54 gull species on the IOC world list, 24 are Larus gulls, 12 are Chroicocephalus, 5 Leucophaeus, 6 Ichthyaetus; the remaining 7 are single or dual species genera. The latter’s names are not always what they make out to be. Pagophila eburnea = sea-ice loving ivory-coloured bird (Ivory Gull) Generally, this gull is … Read more Gulls 1

Plant and Bird Names

There are quite a few examples of scientific names stretching across plants and animals (hemihomonyms). Most of the animals in question are insects and invertebrates, though some are fish, and occasionally mammals (Nelsonia) and birds (Archboldia, Leptosomus). In the Western Palearctic, we are blessed with two bird/plant hemihomonymic genera. Prunella can refer to either accentors … Read more Plant and Bird Names

The The

Definite articles shouldn’t cause any difficulty in the English language. Unlike in German, for instance, where a plethora of definite articles is used depending on gender and case, the English language knows only one: ‘the’. Easy. Recently, however, ‘the’ has become a bit of an annoyance in certain publications. Every now and then ‘the’ seems … Read more The The