List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names

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This list of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names is intended to help those unfamiliar with classical languages to understand and remember the scientific names of organisms. The binomial nomenclature used for animals and plants is largely derived from Latin and Greek words, as are some of the names used for higher taxa, such as orders and above. At the time when biologist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) published the books that are now accepted as the starting point of binomial nomenclature, Latin was used in Western Europe as the common language of science, and scientific names were in Latin or Greek: Linnaeus continued this practice.

Although Latin is now largely unused except by classical scholars, or for certain purposes in botany, medicine and the Roman Catholic Church, it can still be found in scientific names. It is helpful to be able to understand the source of scientific names. Although the Latin names do not always correspond to the current English common names, they are often related, and if their meanings are understood, they are easier to recall. The binomial name often reflects limited knowledge or hearsay about a species at the time it was named. For instance Pan troglodytes, the chimpanzee, and Troglodytes troglodytes, the wren, are not necessarily cave-dwellers.

Often a genus name or specific descriptor is simply the Latin or Greek name for the animal (e.g. Canis is Latin for dog). These words are not included in the table below, because they will only occur for one or two taxa. Instead, the words listed below are the common adjectives and other modifiers that repeatedly occur in the scientific names of many organisms (in more than one genus).

Adjectives vary according to gender, and only the reference form (nominative singular masculine form) is mainly listed here. 1st/2nd-declension adjectives end in -us (masculine), -a (feminine) and -um (neuter), whereas 3rd-declension adjectives ending in -is (masculine and feminine) change to -e (neuter). For example, verus is listed without the variants for Aloe vera or Galium verum.

Words that are very similar to their English forms have been omitted.

Some of the Greek transliterations given are Ancient Greek, and others are Modern Greek.

In the tables, L = Latin, G = Greek, and LG = similar in both languages.


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
acaulis L stemless silver thistle, Carlina acaulis, dwarf date palm, Phoenix acaulis acaulis - acaule
acutus L sharpened, pointed American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus; angled sunbeam (butterfly), Curetis acuta; northern pintail duck, Anas acuta acutus - acuta - acutum
africanum L African africana - africanae -africanum
agrestis L of the field, wild field vole, Microtus agrestis; green field-speedwell, Veronica agrestis agrestis - agreste
alatus L ala winged pitcher plant, Nepenthes alata; sharpwing monkeyflower, Mimulus alatus; winged elm, Ulmus alata; winged everlasting, Ammobium alatum; winged loosestrife, Lythrum alatum; winged seahorse, Hippocampus alatus; winged-stem passion flower, Passiflora alata alatus - alata - alatum
albopictus L painted white Hosta fortunei 'Albopicta', Aedes albopictus albopictus - albopicta - albopictum
albus L white American white ibis, Eudocimus albus; white oak, Quercus alba; mistletoe, Viscum album albus - alba - album (NB Confusion with music recordings cannot be avoided!)
amblys G ἀμβλύς (amblýs) blunt, dull marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus amblys - All pages beginning with "Ambly"
americanus L American American black bear, Ursus americanus; American hazel nut, Corylus americana americanus - americana - americanum
amphi- G ἀμφί (amphí) of all kinds, on all sides amphibian; Amphipoda All pages beginning with "Amphi"
ampulla L bottle, flask northern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus ampullatus - ampullata - ampullatum - All pages beginning with "Ampulla"
amurensis L from the Amur River Amur grape Vitis amurensis All pages beginning with "Amurensis"
Angolensis L from Angola African teak Pterocarpus angolensis All pages beginning with "angolensis" - All pages beginning with "Angolense"
angustus L narrow narrowleaf cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifolium; narrowleaf cottonwood, Populus angustifolia angustus - angusta - angustum - angustifolius - angustifolia - angustifolium
anthos G ἄνθος (ánthos) flower anthozoans, Anthozoa; golden wattle, Acacia pycnantha; mums, Chrysanthemum All pages beginning with "Antho"
anthropo- G ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos) man, human being Paranthropus All pages beginning with "Anthropo"
apis L bee white sage, Salvia apiana apianus - apiana - apianum - All pages beginning with "Api"
aquaticus L found near water eastern mole, Scalopus aquaticus aquaticus - aquatica - aquaticum
arborescens L tree-like or shrub-like Artemisia arborescens; Aloe arborescens; Hydrangea arborescens arborescens
aromatica L aromatic clove nutmeg, Ravensara aromatica aromatica
archaeo- G ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos) ancient Archaeopteryx All pages beginning with "Archaeo" - All pages beginning with "Archeo"
arctos G ἄρκτος (árktos) bear grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis; common bearberry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi arctos - All pages beginning with "Arcto"
argentatus L silvery herring gull, Larus argentatus argentatus - argentata - argentatum
arthro- G ἄρθρον (árthron) joint Arthropoda All pages beginning with "Arthro"
arvensis L in the field skylark, Alauda arvensis arvensis - arvense
asiatica L Asian asiatica - asiaticus
astro-, astero- G ἄστρον (ástron) star starfish (class), Asteroidea All pages beginning with "Astero" - All pages beginning with "Astro"
atropurpureum L deep purple Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum'; Berberis thunbergii f. atropurpurea atropurpureus - atropurpurea - atropurpureum
aurantium L orange (color) bitter orange, Citrus aurantium aurantium - aurantiaca - aurantiacum
aureus L golden, gold coins golden jackal, Canis aureus; Staphylococcus aureus (bacteria) aureus - aurea - aureum
australis L southern southern right whale, Eubalaena australis australis - australe


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
baccatus L berry-bearing common yew, Taxus baccata; Conus baccatus, a sea snail baccatus - baccata - baccatum
barbatus L barba bearded bearded catasetum, Catasetum barbatum; bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus; black-chinned siskin, Spinus barbata; Bornean bearded pig, Sus barbatus; golden-beard penstemon, Penstemon barbatus barbatusbarbatabarbatum
bicolor L two-colored bicolor angelfish, Centropyge bicolor; bicolor cleanerfish, Labroides bicolor; bicolored moth, Manulea bicolor bicolor
bicoloratus L two-colored bicolored angle, Macaria bicolorata; Kenya two-headed snake, Micrelaps bicoloratus; orchid, Bulbophyllum bicoloratum bicoloratusbicoloratabicoloratum
bicornis L bicorne black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis bicornis
bios G βίος (bíos) life amphibian; biota, all living things bios
blandus L pleasant, smooth, alluring Greek windflower, Anemone blanda; Mallos blandus, a spider blandus - blanda - blandum
borealis L northern northern right whale dolphin, Lissodelphis borealis borealis - boreale
brachion G βραχίων (brakhiōn) arm Przewalski's gerbil, Brachiones przewalskii; Brachiopoda (phylum); Brachiosaurus All pages beginning with "Brachio"
brasiliensis L Brazilian All pages with titles containing Brasiliensis
brachy- G βραχύς (brakhús) short Brazilian gold frog, Brachycephalus didactylus All pages beginning with "Brachy"
brady- G βραδύς (bradús) slow pygmy three-toed sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus All pages beginning with "Brady"
branchia LG βράγχιον (bránkhion) gills Lamellibranchia (class, syn. Bivalva); Branchiopoda (class, brine shrimps) All pages beginning with "Branchi"
brasiliensis L from Brazil Brazilian marsh rat, Holochilus brasiliensis; Brazilian stick mantis, Brunneria brasiliensis; rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis brasiliensisbrasiliense
brevi- L brevis short silvery-cheeked hornbill, Ceratogymna brevis brevis - breve - All pages beginning with "Brevi"
brevicaudatus L short-tailed bearded leaf chameleon, Rieppeleon brevicaudatus; sea snail, Lophiotoma brevicaudata; short-tailed ceratosoma, Ceratosoma brevicaudatum brevicaudatusbrevicaudatabrevicaudatum
brevicollis L short-necked short-necked oil beetle, Meloe brevicollis brevicollisbrevicolle
brevifolius L short-leaved Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia; short-leaved dudleya, Dudleya blochmaniae subsp. brevifolia; shortleaf sneezeweed, Helenium brevifolium; zig-zag bog-rush, Schoenus brevifolius brevifoliusbrevifoliabrevifolium
brevirostris L short beak brevirostris


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
caecus L blind blind mole, Talpa caeca; northern eyed hawkmoth, Smerinthus caecus caecus - caeca - caecum
caeruleus L blue blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; blue passion flower, Passiflora caerulea caeruleus - caerulea - caeruleum
californicus L California California blue dorid, Felimare californiensis californicus - californica - californiensis
callosus L calloused large vesper mouse, Calomys callosus; tree fern, Cyathea callosa; orchid, Paphiopedilum callosum callosus - callosa - callosum
canadensis L from Canada bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis canadensis - canadense
canescens L turning grey- or white-haired Geraea canescens (desert sunflower); Atriplex canescens canescens
canis L dog coyote, Canis latrans; Dipylidium caninum (a tapeworm) canis - caninus - canina - caninum
canus L gray (haired), pale gray grey-headed woodpecker, Picus canus; woolly groundsel, Senecio canus canus - cana - canum
caprae L of a goat Staphylococcus caprae caprae
cauda L tail long-tailed tit, Aegithalos caudatus; thintail skate, Dipturus leptocaudus
caulos G καυλός (kaulos) stem, stalk stemless gentian, Gentiana acaulis acaulis - acaule
cephalo- G κεφαλή (kephalē) head Mediterranean gull, Larus melanocephalus; blue-spotted grouper, Cephalopholis argus All pages beginning with "Cephal"
-ceps L caput head pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps; biceps (two-headed muscle)
ceros L cornū G κέρας (keras) horn narwal, Monodon monoceros; rhinoceros (nose horn)
cest L cestus G κεστός (kestos) girdle, belt, stitched Cestoda All pages beginning with "Cest"
chaetes G χαίτη (khaítē) flowing hair, or mane wildebeest, Connochaetes gnou
chilensis L from Chile paradise tanager, Tangara chilensis chilensis - chilense
chinensis L from China China rose, Rosa chinensis; Chinese onion, Allium chinense; Chinese sumac, Rhus chinensis; see also Sinense, below chinensischinense
chloro- G χλωρός (khlōros) pale green common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus All pages beginning with "Chloro"
chroma G χρῶμα (khrōma) color clown loach, Chromobotia macracanthus All pages beginning with "Chrom"
cirrhus G κιρρός (kirrós) orange fringe-lipped bat, Trachops cirrhosus; mrigal carp, Cirrhinus cirrhosus; silverspotted sculpin, Blepsias cirrhosus cirrhosus - cirrhosa - cirrhosum
citri L citrus citri
cneme G κνήμη (kními) shin, leg white-legged damselfly, Platycnemis pennipes
-cola L colō dweller Eurasian woodcock, Scolopax rusticola; northern chequered skipper, Carterocephalus silvicola; paddyfield warbler, Acrocephalus agricola; rock thrushes, Monticola
conno- G κόννος (kónnos) beard wildebeest, Connochaetes gnou All pages beginning with "Conno"
corax L corvus G κόραξ (koraks) crow, raven common raven, Corvus corax corax
cordifolius L heart-shaped leaves heart-leaved moonseed, Tinospora cordifolia; Tucson bur ragweed, Ambrosia cordifolia cordifolius - cordifolia - cordifolium
cornu L cornū horn garden snail, Cornu aspersum All pages beginning with "Cornu"
coronatus L crowned crowned lemur, Eulemur coronatus coronatus - coronata - coronatum
costatus L ribbed striped Raphael catfish, Platydoras costatus costatus - costata - costatum
crassus L thick creeping blueberry, Vaccinium crassifolium crassus - crassa - crassum
cristatus L crested aardwolf, Proteles cristatus; blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata; crested wheatgrass, Agropyron cristatum cristatus - cristata - cristatum
crocos G κρόκος (krokos) yellow saffron, Crocus sativus; bicoloured white-toothed shrew, Crocidura leucodon All pages beginning with "croc"
curvirostris L curved beak boxer snipe eel, Nemichthys curvirostris curvirostris
cyanos G κυανός (kyanós) blue-green azure-winged magpie, Cyanopica cyana; blue orchid, Aganisia cyanea All pages beginning with "Cyano" - cyaneus - cyanea - cyaneum


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
dactyl-, dactylo- G δάκτυλος (dáktulos) finger or toe black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla All pages beginning with "Dactyl"
deca-, deka- G δέκα (déka) ten alfonsino, Beryx decadactylus All pages beginning with "Deca"
decem L ten Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata
delphis G δελφύς (delphús) womb Didelphis virginiana
derma G δέρμα (dérma) skin yellow staining mushroom, Agaricus xanthodermus All pages beginning with "Derm"
di- G δι- (di-) two Christmas orchid, Dipodium punctatum Too common a letter combination for any useful search
diffusa L diffuse diffusa
digitatus L having fingers digitatus - digitata - digitatum
dioica L dioicous dioica
dino-, deino- G δεινός (deinós) terrible dinosaur, Deinotherium All pages beginning with "Dino"
diplo- G διπλός (diplós) double two-eyed orange spider, Diploglena capensis All pages beginning with "Diplo"
disc, disk G δίσκος (dískos) disc common fungus moth, Metalectra discalis All pages beginning with "Disc" - discalis - discale
dodeca- G δώδεκα (dōdeka) twelve Henderson's shootingstar, Dodecatheon hendersonii All pages beginning with "Dodeca"
dolicho- G δολιχός (dolikhós) elongated, long knight anole, Anolis dolichocephalus All pages beginning with "Dolicho"
domesticus L house, domestic house sparrow, Passer domesticus; domestic pig, Sus scrofa domestica domesticus - domestica - domesticum
dorsum L back back-striped weasel, Mustela strigidorsa All pages beginning with "Dors"
dubius L doubtful see also nomina dubia dubius - dubia
dulcis L sweet almond, Prunus dulcis dulcis - dulce


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
eburnea L eburneus ivory-colored ivory gull, Pagophila eburnea eburneus - eburnea - eburneum
echinatus L prickly, spiny Edisto crayfish, Procambarus echinatus; shortleaf pine, Pinus echinata echinatus - echinata - echinatum
echino- L echīnus G ἐχῖνος (ekhinos) hedgehog, sea-urchin great globe thistle, Echinops sphaerocephalus; diadema urchin, Echinothrix diadema; San Pedro cactus, Echinopsis pachanoi All pages beginning with "Echino"
edulis L edible common cockle, Cerastoderma edule; king bolete, Boletus edulis; oyster, Ostrea edulis; passion fruit, Passiflora edulis edulis - edule
elatior L taller true oxlip, Primula elatior elatior
electr- G ἤλεκτρον (ēlektron) amber, amber-colored or

electric (modern usage)

broad-billed motmot, Electron platyrhynchum;
electric eel, Electrophorus electricus
No simple way to distinguish biological from other uses
elegans L elegant crimson rosella, Platycercus elegans elegans - elegantissimus - elegantissima - elegantissimum
emarginatus L having no edges emarginatus - emarginata - emarginatum
enantios G ἐναντίος (enantíos) opposite, against Enantiornithes All pages beginning with "Enantio"
ennea G ἐννέα (ennē) nine banded sunfish Enneacanthus obesus; scurvy-grass sorrel, Oxalis enneaphylla All pages beginning with "Ennea"
ensatus L sword-like California giant salamander, Dicamptodon ensatus ensatus - ensata - ensatum
ensis, ensi- L sword, lance jackknife clam, Ensis minor; swordleaf rush, Juncus ensifolius All pages beginning with "Ensi"
-ensis L of, from (a place) Tadarida brasiliensis (Brazilian free-tailed bat); Lucy, Australopithecus afarensis
erectus L upright Homo erectus ("upright man"); upright chickweed, Moenchia erecta erectus - erecta - erectum
erio- G ἔριον (érion) wool, woolly common cottongrass, Eriophorum angustifolium All pages beginning with "Erio"
erosus L indented, jagged, serrated jícama, Pachyrhizus erosus; serrated hinge-back tortoise, Kinixys erosa erosus - erosa - erosum
erythro- G ἐρυθρός (eruthrós) red[1] spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus; dog's-tooth violet, Erythronium dens-canis All pages beginning with "Erythro"
esculenta L edible Gyromitra esculenta esculenta
europaeus L European europaeus - europaeum - europaea


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
fallax L false false swift, Borbo fallax; green marvel, Acronicta fallax fallax
familiaris L domestic, common dog, Canis lupus familiaris
felis L cat black-footed cat, Felis nigripes; cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis
flavus L golden yellow, light yellow yellow pitcher plant, Sarracenia flava; yellow-necked mouse, Apodemus flavicollis flavusflavaflavum
flos, flor- L flower southern magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora; great white trillium, Trillium grandiflorum
fodiens L fodere digging burying beetle, Nicrophorus defodiens; burying beetle, Nicrophorus infodiens; Eurasian water shrew, Neomys fodiens; lowland burrowing tree frog, Smilisca fodiens
folium L leaf American beech, Fagus grandifolia; broad-leaved sermountain, Laserpitium latifolium; Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia; Joshua tree, Yucca brevifolia; upright snottygobble, Persoonia longifolia
fragilis L frangere breakable brittle bladder-fern, Cystopteris fragilis; brittle willow, Salix fragilis; candy cap, Lactarius fragilis; Dientamoeba fragilis; dead man's fingers, Codium fragile; fragile wart frog, Limnonectes fragilis fragilis
fulvus L deep yellow, tawny Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva; sulphur leather coral, Rhytisma fulvum; tawny grisette, Amanita fulva; yellow ground squirrel, Spermophilus fulvus fulvusfulvafulvum
furcatus L forked forked viburnum, Viburnum furcatum; forked wormwood, Artemisia furcata; swallow-tailed gull, Creagrus furcatus furcatusfurcatafurcatum
fuscus L dark, dark brown dusky hopping mouse, Notomys fuscus; dusky pitcher-plant, Nepenthes fusca; rusty peat moss, Sphagnum fuscum; sooty tern, Sterna fuscata fuscusfuscafuscum


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
gaster, gastro-, gastr- L gaster G γαστήρ (gastḗr) belly common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster; Gastropoda
geo- G γαῖα, γῆ (gaîa, gê) Earth Conus geographus, geography cone; Geotrichum
giganteus L giganteus giant Chorus giganteus, a sea snail giganteus - gigantea
glabra L glaber smooth; hairless[2] smooth sumac, Rhus glabra; Omphiscola glabra (a snail) glabra - glaber - glabrum
glandulosus L having kernels glandulosus - glandulosa - glandulosum
glaucus L glaucus G γλαυκός (glaukós) blue-green, blue-gray, gleaming silvery blue butterfly, Lepidochrysops glauca; Glaucidae, nudibranch family
glycys G γλυκύς (glukús) sweet soybean, Glycine max
gracilipes L grăcĭlĭpes [3] slender-footed slender frog, Austrochaperina gracilipes; slender-legged bushfrog, Gracixalus gracilipes; slenderstalk monkeyflower, Mimulus gracilipes; slimfoot century plant, Agave gracilipes gracilipes
graveolens L gravis strong-smelling common rue, Ruta graveolens; lippia, Lippia graveolens graveolens
gyrinos G γυρῖνος (gurînos) tadpole spring salamander Gyrinophilus porphyriticus; e.g. Crassigyrinus, Proterogyrinus


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
haema-, hema- G αἷμα (haîma) blood Haemosporida; Bacteria sp., Haemophilus influenzae
hali-, halio- G ἅλς (háls) of the sea, salt sea eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus; grey seal, Halichoerus grypus; black abalone, Haliotis cracherodii
haplo- G ἁπλόος (haplóos) simple, single mountain beaver, Apoldontia rufa; Mongolosaurus haplodon
hedra- G ἕδρα (hédrā) seat, facet Chinese ephedra, Ephedra sinica
helio- G ἥλιος (hḗlios) sun sunflower, Helianthus annuus; sun spurge, Euphorbia helioscopia
hexa- G ἕξ (héks) six water primrose, Ludwigia hexapetala
hibridus L hybrid hibridus - hybridus - hibrida - hybrida - hibridum - hybridum
hippo- G ἵππος (híppos) horse seahorse, Hippocampus; lesser horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus hipposideros
hirsutus L hairy hairy bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta; hairy fruit-eating bat, Artibeus hirsutus; hairy St John's-wort, Hypericum hirsutum
homo L human, man modern human, Homo sapiens; Neanderthal, Homo neanderthalensis
hortensis L hortus from the garden broad-leaved anemone, Anemone hortensis; garden orache, Atriplex hortensis; Orphean warbler, Sylvia hortensis
hydro- G ὕδωρ (húdōr) water Chinese water deer, Hydropotes inermis; capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
hyper- G ὑπέρ (hupér) over, above St John's wort, Hypericum perforatum
hypo-, hyp- G ὑπό (hupó) under, beneath zebra pleco catfish, Hypancistrus zebra; common cat's-ear, Hypochaeris radicata


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
indicus L Indian Malaysian tapir, Tapirus indicus indicus - indica - indicum
inaequalis L unequal variable ladybird, Coelophora inaequalis inaequalisinaequale
inedulis L inedible fungus, Caloboletus inedulis inedulis - inedule
innotatus L unmarked unmarked dagger moth, Acronicta innotata innotata
irregularis L unusual or irregular variable burrowing asp, Atractaspis irregularis; viper's bugloss, Hadena irregularis irregularisirregulare
japonicus L Japanese food wrapper plant, Mallotus japonicus; Japanese pagoda tree, Styphnolobium japonicum; Japanese spiraea, Spiraea japonica; see also nipponensis japonicus - japonica - japonicum
kentuckiensis L from Kentucky Kentucky lady's slipper, Cypripedium kentuckiense; Kentucky lichen moth, Cisthene kentuckiensis kentuckiensiskentuckiense


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
lac, lact- L milk, sap, milky white Chinese peony, Paeonia lactiflora; milk-caps, Lactifluus; Lactophrys; Aspalathus lactea
laevis L smooth red-eyed assassin bug, Platymeris laevicollis; smooth bedstraw, Cruciata laevipes All pages with titles containing Laevis
lancea L lance sculptured seamoth, Pegasus lancifer; swamp lousewort, Pedicularis lanceolata
lateralis L side black-flanked rock-wallaby, Petrogale lateralis
latus L flank; broad horse-eye jack, Caranx latus; wideleaf waterparsnip, Sium latifolium; wych elm, Ulmus glabra 'Latifolia Aurea'
lepis G λεπίς (lepís) scale, rind, husk, flake large-scale mullet, Liza macrolepis; Lepidoptera
lepton G λεπτόν (leptón) light Leptictidium auderiense, Leptospira kirschneri
lepus L hare black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
leuco- G λευκός (leukós) white white-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
leucurus G white-tailed white-tailed ptarmigan, Lagopus leucura; white-tailed robin, Cinclidium leucurum; white-tailed stonechat, Saxicola leucurus leucurus - leucuraleucurum
limosus L muddy limosus - limosa - limosum
lineatus L lined or striped Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata
lobos L lobus G λοβός (lovós) lobe three-lobe buttercup, Ranunculus trilobus
longi- L longus long longuslongaAll pages beginning with "longi"
longicaudatus L long-tailed long-tailed pygmy rice rat, Oligoryzomys longicaudatus; longtail catfish; Olyra longicaudata; longtail tadpole shrimp Triops longicaudatus longicaudatuslongicaudatalongicaudatum
longicollis L long-necked eastern long-necked turtle, Chelodina longicollis longicollislongicolle
longifolius L long-leaved long-leaf persoonia, Persoonia longifolia; long-leaf wild buckwheat, Eriogonum longifolium; long-leaved butterwort, Pinguicula longifolia; longleaf bush lupine, Lupinus longifolius; longleaf sunflower, Helianthus longifolius longifoliuslongifolialongifolium
longirostris L long beak longbeak buttercup, Ranunculus longirostris; longsnout blacksmelt, Dolicholagus longirostris longirostrislongirostre
luteus L yellow, saffron-colored yellow mariposa lily, Calochortus luteus; yellow vetch, Vicia lutea; red-billed leiothrix, Leiothrix lutea luteuslutea


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
macro- G μακρός (makrós) long, large big-headed mole rat, Tachyoryctes macrocephalus; rock onion, Allium macrum; sea snail, Turbonilla macra macramacrum
macroura G long-tailed hooded skunk, Mephitis macroura macroura
maculatus L spotted spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularius maculatus - maculata - maculatum
madagascariensis L from Madagascar Madagascar day gecko, Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis; Malagasy ground boa, Acrantophis madagascariensis; Malagasy tree boa, Sanzinia madagascariensis madagascariensis
major L greater great tit, Parus major
malabaricus L from Malabar chestnut-tailed starling, Sturnus malabaricus
marginatus L bordered gold edge Japanese euonymus, Euonymus japonicus 'Aureomarginatus' marginatus - marginata - marginatum
mauro- G μαυρός (maurós) dark, black dark shrew, Crocidura maurisca
maximus L largest royal tern, Sterna maxima
mega- G μέγας (mégas) large, great megalodon shark, Carcharodon megalodon
megacephalus G big-headed Andriyashev large-headed sculpin, Andriashevicottus megacephalus; big-head rush, Juncus megacephalus; big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala; big-headed tiger beetle, Megacephala megacephala; coastal plain hawkweed, Hieracium megacephalum; large-headed rice rat, Hylaeamys megacephalus megacephalusmegacephalamegacephalum
mel L honey black sage, Salvia mellifera; Nephelium melliferum; western honey bee, Apis mellifera
melano- G μελανός (melanós) black black-browed albatross, Thalassarche melanophris melanusmelana
melanocephalus G black-headed black-headed fleabane, Erigeron melanocephalus; black-headed snake, Tantilla melanocephala; ghost ant, Tapinoma melanocephalum melanocephalusmelanocephalamelanocephalum
melanophyllus G black-leaved Melanophylla; Melanophyllum melanophyllusmelanophyllamelanophyllum
melanops G black-eyed, black-faced black-eyed blue, Glaucopsyche melanops; black-fronted dotterel, Elseyornis melanops; gray spiny mouse, Scolomys melanops melanops
mephitis L bad odor striped skunk, Mephitis mephitis; yellow-pigmented bacteria, Luteimonas mephitis
micro- G μικρός (mikrós) small littleleaf pussytoes, Antennaria microphylla
microphyllus G small-leaved baby sage, Salvia microphylla; boxleaf azara, Azara microphylla; littleleaf box, Buxus microphylla; littleleaf mock-orange, Philadelphus microphyllus; small-leaf climbing fern, Lygodium microphyllum microphyllusmicrophyllamicrophyllum
minimus L smallest least flycatcher, Empidonax minimus
minor L smaller great frigatebird, Fregata minor
minuta L small minuta - minutus - minutum
monile L necklace Conus monilifer
mono- G μόνος (mónos) single Swinhoe's storm-petrel, Oceanodroma monorhis; Monotreme
monoica L Monoicous monoica
monspeliensis L from Montpellier Montpellier cistus, Cistus monspeliensis monspeliensis - monspessulanus - monspessulana - monspessulanum
montanus L mons mountains mountain bottlebrush, Melaleuca montana; mountain mahogany, Cercocarpus montanus; mountain thistle, Acanthus montanus; tree sparrow, Passer montanus montanus
morpho- G μορφή (morphḗ) shape Menelaus blue morpho, Morpho menelaus
mus, mys L mūs G μῦς (mûs) mouse house mouse, Mus musculus; as rodent, e.g. Phoberomys, Telicomys


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
nanos G νᾶνος (nânos) L nanus dwarf brown-capped woodpecker, Dendrocopos nanus; dwarf birch, Betula nana; dwarf shrew, Sorex nanus nanus
niger, nigr- L black black mustard, Brassica nigra; black pine, Pinus nigra; black softshell turtle, Nilssonia nigricans; black-footed albatross, Phoebastria nigripes; black-spined Atlantic tree-rat, Phyllomys nigrispinus nigra - nigras - nigrus - nigrum - nigrescens
nipponensis L from Japan freshwater shrimp, Macrobrachium nipponense; Japanese bobtail squid, Sepiolina nipponensis; see also japonicus nipponensisnipponense
nitidus L nitere shining Baja cape kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula nitida; Mauritius blue pigeon, Alectroenas nitidissima; shining pea clam, Pisidium nitidum; shining tree iguana, Liolaemus nitidus nitidusnitidanitidum
nonus L ninth honey fungus, Armillaria nabsnona
nothos G νόθος (nóthos) L nothus false, wrong bluefin notho killifish, Nothobranchius rachovii; New Zealand red beech, Nothofagus fusca
noton G νῶτον (nôton) back black-backed antshrike, Thamnophilus melanonotus
notos G νότος (nótos) southern fawn hopping mouse, Notomys cervinus
novaehollandiae L from New Holland (Australia) emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae
novaeseelandiae L from New Zealand southern boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae
noveboracensis L from New York (Novum Eboracum) margined carrion beetle, Oiceoptoma noveboracense; New York fern, Thelypteris noveboracensis; northern waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis noveboracensisnoveboracense
novem L nine nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus; nine-spotted lady beetle, Coccinella novemnotata
nucifera L bearing nuts butter-nut of Guiana, Caryocar nuciferum; coconut, Cocos nucifera All pages with titles containing nucifera


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
obscurus L dark dusky dolphin, Lagenorhynchus obscurus
occidentalis L western eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis; western clover, Trifolium occidentale occidentalisoccidentale
ocean G ὠκεανός (ōkeanós) ocean Posidonia oceanica
octo-, octa- G ὀκτω- ὀκτα- eight common octopus, Octopus vulgaris
-odon, -odus G ὀδών (odṓn), ὀδούς (odoús) tooth Dimetrodon, Rhizodus
oeso- G οἰσέμεν (oisémen), οἰσ- carry Oesophagostomum, Oesophagostomum bifurcum
officinalis L for the workshop; medicinal rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis;
Zingiber officinale
oleum, olearis L oil jack o'lantern mushroom, Omphalotus olearius
ophis G ὄφις (óphis) serpent Carphophis vermis, western wormsnake
ops G ὤψ (ōps) face, eye Triceratops
-opsis G ὄψις (ópsis) resembling Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis
orientalis L eastern oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis All pages with titles containing orientalis
ortho- G ὀρθός (orthós) straight Orthoptera
oryza G ὄρυζα (óruza) rice Asian rice, Oryza sativa; rice rats, Oryzomys
ovata L applauded shagbark hickory, Carya ovata All pages with titles containing ovata


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
pachy- G παχύς (pakhus) thick, stout Pachycephalosaurus
pallidus L pale pallidus - pallida - pallidum
palustris L paluster of the marsh mugger crocodile, Crocodylus palustris; marsh marigold, Caltha palustris
pan- panto- G πᾶν (pan) all Pancratium (a flower); Pangaea
parviflorus L small-flowered small-flowered mallow, Malva parviflora; thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus parviflorusparvifloraparviflorum
parvifolius L small-leaved Chinese elm, Ulmus parvifolia; littleleaf ceanothus, Ceanothus parvifolius; small-leaved lomatium, Lomatium parvifolium parvifoliusparvifoliaparvifolium
parvus L small mountain pygmy possum, Burramys parvus
pecten L comb Venus comb murex, Murex pecten
ped L pēs foot showy lady slipper, Cypripedium reginae
pelag- L pelagicus, G πελαγικός open sea pelagic cormorant, Phalacrocorax pelagicus
penn- L penna feather, wing great auk, Pinguinus impennis
penta- G πέντε (pénte) five five-fingered skink, Chalcides pentadactylus
petra L G πέτρα (pétra) rock, stone rock daisy, Erigeron petrophilus; Roberts's flat-headed bat, Sauromys petrophilus
phago G φάγο eat African scat (fish), Scatophagus tetracanthus; Ichthyophaga, the ("fish-eating") sea eagle; hematophagy
phenolicus L able to degrade phenol phenolicus - phenolica - phenolicum
pholis G φολίς (pholís) horny scale green-spotted grouper, Cephalopholis argus
phyllo- G φύλλον (phúllon) leaf garden lupin, Lupinus polyphyllus
physi- G φύσις (phúsis) nature Symphysia ("naturally joined") (a plant)[4]
phyto- G φυτόν (phutón) plant Astrophytum, Astrophytum myriostigma (a cactus); epiphyte
pictus L pictus painted Pimelodus pictus, a catfish; painted skipper, Hesperilla picta; painted tunicate, Clavelina picta; Abutilon pictum, a shrub pictuspictapictum
platy- G πλατύς (platús) flat and broad flathead trout, Salmo platycephalus; platypus
plumosum L feathered plumosum
pod- G πούς (poús) foot, leg, stem red-footed spikesedge, Eleocharis erythropoda; Arthropoda; Gastropoda
poly- G πολύς (polús) many common knotgrass, Polygonum aviculare; polymer
praecox L early Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet); Melanotaenia praecox (neon rainbow); Dementia praecox (premature dementia)
pratensis L of the meadow meadow foxtail, Alopecurus pratensis
proto- G πρῶτος (prôtos) first Protozoa
pruriens L itching velvet bean, Mucuna pruriens
pseudo- L G ψευδής (pseudḗs) false or fake pastel flower, Pseuderanthemum variabile
pterus, -pter G πτερόν (pterón) wing, feather white-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus; Pteranodon (winged toothless); Pterodactylus (winged finger); Pteridophyta; Diptera; Coleoptera
pubescens L downy downy oak, Quercus pubescens
pugilis L pugil fighting fighting conch, Strombus pugilis
pulchellus L pretty little[5] green pygmy goose, Nettapus pulchellus
punctatus L spotted, marked with punctures dotted thyme-moss, Rhizomnium punctatum; thirteen-spotted lady beetle, Hippodamia tredecimpunctata punctatuspunctatapunctatum
purpurascens L somewhat purple purpurascens
pygo- G πυγή (pugḗ) tail, rump chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
quadri- L quattuor four, square Festuca quadriflora (four-flowered), Lysimachia quadrifolia (four-leaved) All pages beginning with "Quadri"


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
radix L root or radish taproot fleabane, Erigeron radicatus radixradicansradicatus
rāmus L branch branched draba, Draba ramosissima; branched murex, Chicoreus ramosus
repand L repandus curved upwards, turned up Peruvian apple cactus, Cereus repandus; hedgehog mushroom, Hydnum repandum
repens L 1. creeping, crawling (rēpens);
2. unexpected (rĕpens)
creeping buttercup, Ranunculus repens; white clover, Trifolium repens
reptans L creeping, crawling Potentilla reptans (creeping cinquefoil); Ajuga reptans (bugle); Reptilia
reticulata L reticulated mandarin orange, Citrus reticulata reticulatusreticulatareticulatum
rhino- G ῥίς (rhís) nose orange leaf-nosed bat, Rhinonicteris aurantia; rhinoceros
rhiza G ῥίζα (rhiza) root bushy seedbox, Ludwigia helminthorrhiza; Rhizobium (nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria)
rhynchos G ῥύγχος (rhunkhos) beak or snout mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; Rhamphorhynchus
rhyti G ῥῠτίς (rhutis) wrinkled, folded shaggy moss, Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus; Rhytidodon (syn. Rutiodon)
rigidus L rigid, stiff big galleta, Hilaria rigida rigidusrigidarigidum
rostra L beak, bill, snout common crossbill, Loxia curvirostra
rostralis L with a beak buttoned snout moth, Hypena rostralis rostralis
rostratus L rōstrātus having a beak beaked sedge, Carex rostrata; beaked yucca, Yucca rostrata; Caribbean sharp-nose puffer, Canthigaster rostrata; longnose surgeonfish, Zebrasoma rostratum rostratusrostratarostratum
ruber L ruber red red maple, Acer rubrum; red valerian, Centranthus ruber; summer tanager, Piranga rubra ruberrubrarubrum
rufus L reddish, red red wolf, Canis rufus


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
sanguis L blood bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis
sapiens L wise recent subspecies of humans: Homo sapiens sapiens ("very wise man")
sativus L sown, cultivated oat, Avena sativa; pea, Pisum sativum; rice, Oryza sativa sativussativasativum
saura, -saur G σαῦρος (saûros) lizard, reptile lancetfish, Alepisaurus; Maiasaura (dinosaur)
septem L seven seven-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata
silvestris L of the wood; wild wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris
similis L similar similis
sinensis L from China tea, Camellia sinensis sinensis - sinense
speciosus L showy queen's crape-myrtle, Lagerstroemia speciosa; Japanese lily, Lilium speciosum
sperma G σπέρμα (spérma) seed African daisies, Osteospermum
sphen-, spheno- G σφήν (sphḗn) wedge tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus
stoma G στόμα (stóma) mouth, opening stomate, Gnathostomata
striatus L striped striated heron, Butorides striatus striatus - striata - striatum
strictus L straight, narrow, erect Oxalis stricta; Babiana stricta; Nardus stricta strictus - strictastrictum
strix L owl tawny owl, Strix aluco; tawny frogmouth, Podargus strigoides
suber L cork cork oak, Quercus suber
suchos, -suchus G σοῦχος (soûkhos) crocodile (from Egyptian) Eusuchia, Koolasuchus
sulcatus L furrowed sulcatus - sulcata - sulcatum
syriacus L Syrian syriacus - syriaca - syriacum


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
tardus, tardi- L slow, late great bustard, Otis tarda; Chisos Mountains oak, Quercus tardifolia
tele-, tel- G τῆλε (têle) far, distant New South Wales waratah, Telopea speciosissima
tenax L clinging, tenacious bear grass, Xerophyllum tenax; tough bully, Sideroxylon tenax; tough-leaved iris, Iris tenax tenax
tenuis L thin, slender, fine slender rush, Juncus tenuis; plealeaf knotweed, Polygonum tenue tenuis
tetra- G τετρα- four four-leaved allseed, Polycarpon tetraphyllum; Tetrapoda
tinctorius L for dyeing woad, Isatis tinctoria tinctorius - tinctoria - tinctorium
tomentosus L furry bristle-tail filefish, Acreichthys tomentosus; fuzzy mock-orange, Philadelphus tomentosus; woollyleaf ceanothus, Ceanothus tomentosus tomentosustomentosa
tres, tris, tri- L G τρία (tría) three black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla; three-cornered garlic, Allium triquetrum
tricho-, thrix G θρίξ (thríx), τριχ- (trikh) hair cloud ear fungus, Auricularia polytricha
tripartitus L three-part threepart violet, Viola tripartita; threetip sagebrush, Artemisia tripartita tripartitustripartita
troglodytes L G τρωγλοδύτης (trōglodútēs) cave-dweller chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes); wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
tropicalis L tropical Candida tropicalis All pages with titles containing tropicalis


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
ulmus L elm American elm, Ulmus americana; Siberian elm, Ulmus pumila; Ulmus
ulos G οὖλος (oúlos) woolly Ulotrichi, Ulotrichopus
unus L one Monotropa uniflora
ura G οὐρά (ourá) of the tail mourning dove, Zenaida macroura; coral snake, Micrurus corallinus


Latin/Greek Language English Examples Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
variabilis L variable grey bunting, Emberiza variabilis
variegatus L variegated variegated laughingthrush, Garrulax variegatus; croton, Codiaeum variegatum variegatus - variegata - variegatum
velox, velocis L swift swift fox, Vulpes velox; Velociraptor
ventralis L ventral, of the belly Hispaniolan parrot, Amazona ventralis; southern dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion ventrale
vernus, vernalis L spring spring gentian, Gentiana verna; spring pheasant's eye, Adonis vernalis
verrucosus L rough-skinned Javan warty pig, Sus verrucosus; reef stonefish, Synanceia verrucosa
versicolor L many-colored varied honeyeater, Lichenostomus versicolor; Vietnam mouse-deer, Tragulus versicolor
verticillata L whorled All pages with titles containing verticillata
verus L true, genuine true aloe, Aloe vera; lady's bedstraw, Galium verum
victoriae L Victorian victoriae
villosus L [6] hairy, shaggy hairy nightshade, Solanum villosum; hairy stonecrop, Sedum villosum; hairy vetch, Vicia villosa; hairy woodpecker, Picoides villosus; shaggy hawkweed, Hieracium villosum; villous deadly carrot, Thapsia villosa villosusvillosavillosum
virginiana L Virginia Didelphis virginiana, the possum; Rosa virginiana, the Virginia rose
viridis L green frog orchid, Coeloglossum viride; green alder, Alnus viridis viridisviride
virosus L poisonous cowbane, Cicuta virosa; poisonous lettuce, Lactuca virosa
viticolus L Viticulture viticolus - viticola - viticolum
volans L flying southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans
vulgaris L common common octopus, Octopus vulgaris; common privet, Ligustrum vulgare vulgarisvulgare


Latin/Greek Language English Example Search for titles containing the word or using the prefix:
xanthos G ξανθός yellow yellow staining mushroom, Agaricus xanthodermus All pages beginning with "Xanth"
zygos G ζυγός joined Zygoptera All pages beginning with "Zygo"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chuck Griffith. "Dictionary of Botanical Epithets". 
  2. ^ "Rhus glabra L.". Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, G , Gracchus , grăcĭlĭpes". Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  4. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. CRC Press. p. 2610. ISBN 0-8493-2673-7. 
  5. ^ Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short (1879). "pulchellus". A Latin Dictionary. 
  6. ^ "Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary, villōsus". Retrieved 2016-01-17. 

External links[edit]