This website provides ready access to the correct scientific name of every insect or related creature for which there is a common (or vernacular) name in use in Australia. The site also enables the user to discover the common name or names used in Australia for a species for which the user knows only the scientific name. Species are also listed in family groupings. An index of commonly used abbreviations of authors' names has also been included. This index is intended to assist in the interpretation of abbreviations which may be encountered in entomological literature. It is recommended, however, that in present-day usage authors' names be quoted in full to avoid ambiguity.
While scientific nomenclature is governed by strict rules, vernacular nomenclature is not. Inevitably there will be differences of opinion over what constitutes an appropriate common name or over whether a particular common name is or is not in wide use. In preparing the lists which follow we have endeavoured to include common names which are used in conversation and in the literature. We have also taken the opportunity to weed out a few contrived or clumsy names which have appeared in earlier editions of the Handbook but which seem not to be in use. Few Aboriginal names have been included but we believe that such names would enhance future versions of this website.
We have included the common names of Australian butterflies listed by M. Braby in The Butterflies of Australia (2001), although with some rationalisation.
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