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Nutty Nomenclature

Nutty Nomenclature

All species of organism are given their own specific name by the taxonomist who first describes them.  Every now and again the taxonomists allow themselves to have a little bit of fun.  This is our guide to some more mischievously named species.

Pison eu

Don’t get it? It's a bit rude, so if you haven't understood it, give yourself a hearty slap on the back for being completely incorruptible and ask Mummy for another mug of hot cocoa.

What is it?
A wasp.

Where was it found? Central America.

When was it first named? 1988

Who deserves the credit? Arnold Menke, a
Smithsonian entomologist and stalwart of titillating taxonomy.

Pison speciesIs there a picture? Not of our hero, this instead is a New Zealand species called Pison spinosa, which isn't as funny (click to enlarge image). Fortunately, however, other taxonomists have seen the potential on Pison as a comedy word and the genus also includes: Pison fritzi, Pison martini, Pison nosferatu and Pison eyvae. We're not quite sure we understand Pison eyvae, which is flagged up as a funny name on some other lists. We think it must either be a pun of Poison Ivy or Personify, neither of which are actually very amusing.

Check out some other weird species names

Null's other regular features:

Phunny Phobias
Wednesday: Doctor Doctor
Thursday: Peculiar Periodicals
Friday: End of week timewasters
Title image: Markus Koljonen/W
Main image: Landcare Research

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01 Jul 2011
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