Available now –  the first AQUATICAL•LATIN book:


Latin for Aquarists

An Etymology of Tropical Marine Reef Species.


T. M. Hayes

This first volume takes a look at the etymology, that’s the meaning behind the names, of around 950 species of the most common tropical marine fishes found in the aquatic hobby.

In addition to being an etymological dictionary of species and genus names AQUATICAL•LATIN also looks at subjects such as taxonomy, explains all about scientific names, and includes a handy guide to how these sometimes peculiar looking names should be pronounced.

The perfect gift for the curious aquarist, a useful tool for public aquariums, academics, and an indispensable addition to any aquarist’s library.

AQUATICAL•LATIN is a unique book, it is the only available general etymological work on fishes. Written by marine aquarium writer Tim Hayes. this is an extensively researched and well referenced work.

Product details:

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1545319227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1545319222
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Price:
  • UK: £14.99
  • US: $19.15
  • EU and ROW: price subject to region, see appropriate Amazon site for details.

To purchase a copy of AQUATICAL•LATIN please go to the Amazon website

For more information about AQUATICAL•LATIN, the book, please contact AQUATICAL•LATIN via and we’ll do our best to answer your query.


AQUATICAL•LATIN is an ongoing project investigating the etymology of the scientific names applied to aquatic species, particularly animals such as fishes and invertebrates.

This site is intended as a resource for aquarists, naturalists, anglers, academics, divers, and anyone else curious about the meaning behind the names.

In addition to the website there is a book:

Aquatical Latin: Latin for aquarists: an etymology of tropical marine reef species.
Volume 1: Reef Fishes

This is the first in a series of books looking at the etymology of popular aquarium and angling species of fishes.

For more about the book go to: AQUATICAL•LATIN – the Book


The Lexicon is a work in progress, offering a generalised guide to the meaning of the Latin and Greek words used in the formation of the compound words used in the construction of scientific names.

Contact Us

If you’re curious about the scientific name of any particular species of aquatic animal or if you have any questions regarding the site, please contact AQUATICAL•LATIN via and we’ll do our best to answer your query.

Regarding the unusual name of this website, AQUATICAL•LATIN – the word ‘aquatical’ meaning, “of aquatic nature; having to do with water”. Although described by the OED as obsolete, I have used this word rather than the more usual ‘aquatic’ in homage to botanist William Stearn and his seminal work, Botanical Latin (1966), which I have found to be an invaluable guide to the study of the Greek and Latin words used in scientific names.