Science versus the vernacular

The use of Latin names in text books, field guides and web sites can be difficult for both beginners and experts alike.

The main advantage of the use of scientific (Latin) names is that they are agreed and constant worldwide. Vernacular English names can be very local and specific, for example, the Scarce Chaser is so called because in England it is indeed scarce (certainly in Bedfordshire!), but it's not uncommon in the rest of Europe.

Using scientific names overcomes such regional differences and ambiguities.

Whilst this is a local web site with a Bedfordshire theme, I hope it has interest and relevance much further afield. I've tried to have the best of both worlds and list both vernacular and scientific names throughout.

Help with Latin names

There's no escaping that Latin names can be difficult to learn and pronounce, but hopefully this table will help.


A
Aenea ee-nee-a
Aeshna eesh-na
Aeshnidae eesh-nid-dee
Affinis aff-in-is
Anax ay-nax
Anisoptera an-iss-op-terra
Arctica ark-tic-a
Armatum ar-may-tum
B
Barbarus bar-bar-us
Boltonii boll-tony-eye
Brachytron brak-ee-tron
C
Caerulea see-roo-lee-a
Calopterygidae cal-op-ter-ridge-id-ee
Calopteryx cal-op-ter-ricks
Cancellatum can-sell-ay-tum
Ceriagrion kerri-ag-ree-on
Coenagrion see-nag-ree-on
Coenagrionidae see-nag-ree-on-id-ee
Coerulescens see-roo-less-enns
Cordulegaster cor-dew-le-gas-ter
Cordulegastridae cor-dew-le-gas-trid-ee
Cordulia cor-dew-lee-a
Corduliidae cor-dew-lee-i-dee
Crocothemis cro-co-theme-iss
Curtisii cur-tiss-ee-eye
Cyanea sigh-a-nee-a
Cyathigerum sigh-a-thidge-er-um
D
Danae day-nee
Depressa de-press-a
Dryas dry-ass
Dubia dew-bee-a
E
Elegans elly-gans
Enallagma enn-al-lag-ma
Ephippiger effy-pidge-er
Erythraea ery-thray-a
Erythromma erry-thromm-a
F
Flaveolum flav-ee-oh-lum
Flavescens flav-es-kens
Fonscolombii fons-coll-om-bee-eye
Fulva full-va
G
Gomphidae gomm-fi-dee
Gomphus gomm-fuss
Grandis gran-diss
H  
Hastulatum hass-tew-lah-tum
Hemianax hem-ee-an-ax
I  
Imperator im-per-a-tor
Ischnura ish-nure-a
Isosceles eye-soss-el-lees
J  
Juncea junn-see-a
Junius june-ius
K
L
Lestes less-tees
Lestidae less-tid-ee
Leucorrhinia lew-core-rin-nee-a
Libellula lib-ell-yew-lah
Libellulidae lib-ell-yew-lid-ee
Lunulatum loon-yew-lah-tum
M
Mercuriale mer-cure-ee-ah-lee
Meridionale mer-id-ee-on-ay-lee
Metalica met-al-i-ka
Mixta mix-ta
N  
Najas nye-ass
Nigrescens nig-gress-enns
Nymphula nim-few-la
O  
Odonata oh-doe-nah-ta
Orthetrum or-thee-trum
Oxygastra oxy-gas-tra
P
Pantala pan-tah-lah
Parthenope par-then-oh-pee
Pedemontanum pee-dee-mont-ah-num
Pennipes pen-nip-ees
Platycnemididae plat-ick-nem-mid-id-dee
Platycnemis plat-ick-nem-is
Pratense pra-tense-ee
Pterostigma ter-ro-stig-ma
Puella poo-ell-a
Pulchellum pull-kell-um
Pumilio poo-mill-ee-oh
Pyrrhosoma pie-rho-so-ma
Q  
Quadrimaculata quad-ree-mack-yew-lay-ta
R  
S  
Sanguineum san-gwin-ee-um
Scitulum sit-ewe-lum
Somatochlora so-matto-clor-a
Splendens splen-denns
Sponsa spon-sa
Striolatum stry-oh-lay-tum
Sympetrum sim-peat-rum
T  
Tenellum ten-ell-um
U  
V  
Virgo ver-go
Viridulum vir-id-you-lum
Vulgatissimus vul-ga-tiss-imus
Vulgatum vul-gay-tum
W  
X  
Y  
Z  
Zygoptera zy-gop-ter-a

I found the Pronunciation of Biological Latin a very useful resource whilst compiling this list.