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Roach Etymology - Help Please!

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I'm trying to figure out the etymology of some of the scientific names of species and genera.


For example I looked up aeluro and apparently it means cat in Ancient Greek so Aeluropoda means cat footed or something similar.  The flat horned hisser Aeluropoda Insignis means marked cat footed.  LOL!!!  I found the aeluro morpheme here: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailur-


I have really tried finding the etymology of Gromphadorhina but no luck.  I know it's Greek but that's it.  Does anyone know what it means? 


Ps Periplaneta for the pest roaches means around the the planet.  Pretty apropos.  

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I’m not an expert in Ancient Greek by any means but I do know the ‘planeta’ part of Periplaneta comes from the Greek for ‘wamderer’ or ‘to wander’ as this is exactly what the ancient Greeks called the planets, because the ancient astronomers noticed that the planets ‘wandered around’ the sky in relation to the other stars which always had a fixed relationship to one another. So you’re correct in one sense because the word planet has the same derivation, but Periplaneta strictly means ‘wandering around’ - which is also very appropriate for the species as it is often seen wandering around everywhere!!

i have a smattering of Latin from my school years so I can sometimes work out what some Latin derived names mean but other than the tale above Greek is, well, all Greek to me :D, so I can’t help you with any of the others I’m afraid!

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  • 2 weeks later...


On 3/14/2018 at 10:40 AM, varnon said:

I don't have any suggestions, sorry. But I wanted to say, can we keep this thread going? It is very interesting!

Thread bump!



If you train yourself to speak taxo-gibberish some of the names can be understood quite easily

giganteus: giant

rufipes: red foot


a number of bugs are also named after Greek/Roman mythological characters

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