Colour terms.

Terms relating to colour are frequently encountered in the make-up of the scientific names of aquatic animals, particularly in those names referring to fishes.

General colour terms.

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

-chroa

Greek, (χρως, χροος)

skin, skin colour, colour

Enchelycore carychroa, the Caribbean chestnut moray

-color

Latin

colour, hue, tint

Centropyge multicolor, the Multicolor angelfish

nebulosa

Latin, nebulosus

cloudy, misty; with unevenly blended colours

Echidna nebulosa, the Snowflake moray

pictus

Latin, pingo

painted, coloured; of various colours

Antennarius pictus, the Painted frogfish

variegatus

Latin, variego

to be made of various sorts or colours, to be variegated

Synodus variegatus, the Variegated lizardfish

Red.

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

carneus

Latin

of flesh, flesh-coloured

Dascyllus carneus, the Cloudy dascyllus

cerasinus

Latin

cherry-coloured

Pholidochromis cerasina, the Cherry Dottyback

coccineus

cocci-

Latin

scarlet-coloured

Antennatus coccineus, the Scarlet frogfish

cruentata

Latin, cruento

to make bloody, spot with blood; dye red, tinge with red, stain

Cephalopholis cruentata, the Graysby

-erythrum

Greek, eruthros (ερυθρος)

red

Sargocentron xantherythrum, the Hawaiian squirrelfish

flamm-

Latin, flamma

flame, fire; flame-coloured

Pseudochromis flammicauda, the Firetail dottyback

ignitus

Latin

fiery, glowing

Pseudanthias ignitus, the Flame anthias

haema-

Greek, haima (αιμα)

blood-red

Corythoichthys haematopterus, the Messmate pipefish

miniata

Latin, minio

to colour with red-lead, red-coloured

Cephalopholis miniata, the Coral hind

rubicundus

Latin

red, ruddy

Hypsypops rubicundus, the Garibaldi damselfish

rubre

rubrus

rubrum

Latin, rubeo

to be red, ruddy

Sargocentron rubrum, the Redcoat

rubri-

Latin, rubrico

to colour red

Amblyeleotris rubrimarginata, the Redmargin shrimpgoby

rufus

Latin

red, reddish

Bodianus rufus, the Spanish hogfish

Yellow, Orange, and Gold.

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

aurantia

aurant-

Latin, aurantius

gold coloured, orange-coloured

Centropyge aurantia, the Golden angelfish

aureus  

aur-

Latin, aureus, aurum

of gold, golden,  gold colour

Amblyglyphidodon aureus, the Golden damselfish

chrysus

chrys--

Greek, khrusos (χρυσος)

gold

Chaetodontoplus chrysocephalus, the Orangeface angelfish

citrinus

Latin, citrus

lemon yellow

Gobiodon citrinus, the Poison goby

flavescens

Latin, flavesco

to become golden yellow, turn light yellow

Zebrasoma flavescens, the Yellow tang

flav-

Latin, flavus

yellow, golden

Chrysiptera flavipinnis, the Yellowfin damselfish.

fulva

Latin, fulvus

deep yellow, reddish yellow, gold coloured, tawny

Cephalopholis fulva, the Coney

galba

Latin, galbus

yellow

Chrysiptera galba, the Canary demoiselle

lute-

luteus

Latin, luteus

golden-yellow, saffron-yellow, orange-yellow

Cirrhilabrus luteovittatus, the Yellowband wrasse

lutescens

Latin

yellowish, becoming yellow

Thalassoma lutescens, the Yellow-brown wrasse

sandaracinos

Greek, sandarakinos (σανδαρακινος)

of orange colour

Amphiprion sandaracinos, the Yellow clownfish

sulfureus

Latin

of sulphur, sulphurous, sulphureous; Sulphur yellow

Pomacentrus sulfureus, the Sulphur damsel

xanthus

xanth-

Greek, xanthos (ξανθος)

yellow

Paracirrhites xanthus, the Golden Hawkfish

Green, Blue, Violet, and Purple.

  

Green

 

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

chloro-

Greek, khloros (χγωρος)

greenish-yellow, pale green, yellow

Halichoeres chloropterus, the Pastel-green wrasse

olivaceus

Latin

Olive-coloured,  greyish-green

Acanthurus olivaceus, the Orangespot surgeonfish

viridescens

Latin

becoming green

Balistoides viridescens, the Titan triggerfish

viridis

Latin

green

Chromis viridis, the Blue green damselfish

  

Blue

 

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

caeruleus

caerule-

coeruleus

Latin, caeruleus

like the sky, azure, blue, dark blue, blue coloured

Chrysiptera caeruleolineata, the Blueline demoiselle

coelestis

Latin, caelestis

of heaven, from heaven, of the heavens, heavenly, celestial; sky blue

Pomacentrus coelestis, the Neon damselfish

cyaneus

cyanea

cyan-

Latin, cyaneus

Greek, kuanos (κυανεος)

dark blue, sea blue

Paracheilinus cyaneus, the Blue flasherwrasse

cymatilis

Latin, cumatilis

Greek, kuma (κυμα)

of the waves, sea-coloured, blue

Chrysiptera cymatilis, the Milne Bay Demoiselle.

glauc-

Latin, glaucus

bright, sparkling, gleaming;  bluish grey, greyish

Coryphopterus glaucofraenum, the Bridled goby

indigo

Greek, indikos (ινδικος)

Indian dye; the colour indigo

Hypoplectrus indigo, the Indigo hamlet

livid-

Latin, lividus

a leaden color, bluish, blue

Ecsenius lividanalis, the Blackspot coralblenny

  

Violet and Purple

 

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

io-

Greek, ion (ιον)

violet

Chromis iomelas, the Half-and-half chromis

janthin-

Latin, ianthinus

violet-blue, violet

Pervagor janthinosoma, the Blackbar filefish

porphyrea

Greek, porphura (πορφυρα)

purple dye, purple

Pictichromis porphyrea, the Magenta dottyback

purpureus

Latin

purple-coloured, purple, dark-red

Hoplolatilus purpureus, the Purple sand tilefish

Black, Brown, and “Dark”.

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

atr-

atro

Latin, ater

black, coal-black, gloomy, dark

Chromis atripectoralis, the Black-axil chromis

ferrug-

Latin, ferrugo

iron rust, rust-coloured

Centropyge ferrugata, the Rusty angelfish

funebris

Latin

funeral, deadly, fatal, funereal; dark colouration

Gymnothorax funebris, the Green moray

fuscus

Latin

dark, swarthy, dusky, tawny

Pseudochromis fuscus, the Brown dottyback

mela-

melano-

melan-

Greek, melanos (μελανος),  
melas
(μελας)

black, dark

Chaetodontoplus melanosoma, the Black-velvet angelfish

niger

nigri-

Latin, niger

black, sable, dark, dusky

Melichthys niger, the Black triggerfish

nigricans

Latin, nigrico

to be blackish

Hypoplectrus nigricans, the Black hamlet

nigroris

Latin, nigror

blackness

Neoglyphidodon nigroris, the Black-and-gold chromis

tabac-

Latin, tabacum

tobacco, tobacco-coloured; pale brown

Serranus tabacarius, the Tobaccofish

White and Silver.

Latin/Greek

Language

English

Example

alb-

Latin, albus

white

Variola albimarginata, the White-edged lyretail

argenteus

Latin

of silver, made of silver

Monodactylus argenteus, the Silver moony

leuco-

leuc-

Greek, leukos (λευκος)

white

Amphiprion leucokranos, the Whitebonnet anemonefish

nitida

Latin, nitidus

shining, glittering, gleaming, bright, polished, clear

Chromis nitida, the Barrier reef chromis