1. Ninjemys oweni
Ninjemys oweni was a gigantic turtle from the Pleistocene era. Originally placed in Megalania by Richard Owen, it eventually was reclassified as Ninjemys in 1992. The etymology was explained as such: “Ninj” after “Ninja, in allusion to that totally rad, fearsome foursome epitomizing shelled success” and “emys” from the Latin for turtle. Meaning the entire name roughly translates to “Owen’s Ninja Turtle.”
2. Ytu brutus
Ytu brutus is a Brazilian water beetle. The name derives from what is popularly attributed as Julius Caesar’s last words (see Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar as an example): “Et tu, Brute?” Literally, this translates as “And you, Brutus?” In Spanish “Y tu” means “and you.” Hence, Ytu brutus.
4. La cerveza
La cerveza is a type of crambid snout moth. It’s also Spanish for “beer.” Apparently, La is kind of a jokey genus. Other species include La cucaracha and La paloma, Spanish for cockroach and dove respectively. By the way, pictures of La moths are pretty much non-existent on the web, so this is a picture of a different genus of crambid snout moth. My deepest apologies to the crambid snout moth experts reading this post.
6. Oedipina complex
I bet you’ve already guessed that the scientific name of the Gamboa Worm Salamander derives from “Oedipus complex,” a psychoanalytical term for the condition where a boy sexually desires his mother. Actually, the name of this salamander literally WAS Oedipus complex up until very recently. Some taxonomist decided the entire genus needed an upgrade and watered down the joke.
8. Apopyllus now
Apopyllus now is a type of ground spider. I can only assume the guy who named it was a fan of the movie Apocalypse Now. Also, this is another case where I couldn’t find a picture of the actual spider even though it has an incredibly witty name and you’d think someone might want a picture of the damn thing. Hell, maybe they’d even use it for a list like this.
9. Agra vation
This species of beetle is not at all aggravating, unless we’re talking about finding a photograph of one. The picture above is definitely from the genus Agra, however. While we’re talking about Agra, it’s worth pointing out there are beetles named Agra cadabra and Agra phobia. A scientist named Terry Erwin is responsible for all these punny names.
11. Pieza kake
A type of mythicomyiid fly, you’d think that it’d be a piece of cake to find a picture of Pieza kake. Alas, this was not the case, so you get a picture of a different mythicomyiid fly. Like you know what a mythicomyiid fly is anyway. By the way, other punny names in the Pieza genus include: Pieza pi, Pieza rhea, and Pieza deresistans. Be sure to say them all out loud.
16. Phthiria relativitae
Phthiria relativitae is a type of fly. The fly pictured above is a different species of Phthiria by the way; apparently, P. relativitae isn’t nearly as popular as the theory it’s named after. Hey, not everyone (I’m looking at you, taxonomists) can be as cool as Einstein.
17. Gollumjapyx smeagol
Gollumjapyx smeagol is a species of diplurian (example depicted above), which in turn is a kind of arthropod. Let’s be frank here: a Lord of the Rings fan obviously named this sucker. But do you think they have little rings or multiple personalities or a quirky tendency to hiss “my preccccccioooooussss”? Oh well. I guess all names can’t be logical.
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- Gingers rejoice! A redhead emoji may be coming your way soon 🙌