Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Animals and Plants Named for Michigan

A search of the Integrated Taxonomic Information System revealed 33 taxa of living organisms in which "michigan" is part of the scientific name, in most cases forming the root of the species name. The organisms so named include 24 species of animals representing 6 classes, 11 orders, and 22 families; and 9 taxa (6 species, 1 subspecies, and 2 varieties) of plants representing 6 classes, 8 orders, and 8 families.

All of the animals are invertebrates, including 17 insects, 2 water mites, a fluke, a leech, a proturan, a rotifer, and an earthworm. The insects consist of 9 flies (Diptera), 4 bees or wasps (Hymenoptera), a beetle (Staphylinidae), and a caddisfly (Tricoptera).

The plants include 3 flowering plants, 3 diatoms, 2 green algaes, and a moss. I’m a little surprised that some individual or organization has not campaigned to have the native and showy Michigan Lily named the Michigan State Flower in place of the generic Apple Blossom.

The list of animals and plants named in honor of Michigan follows:
  • Calycomyza michiganensis, a leafminer fly
  • Cloacitrema michiganense, a fluke
  • Desserobdella michiganensis, a leech
  • Endasys michiganensis, an ichneumon wasp
  • Gyrophaena michigana, a rove beetle
  • Hesperocorixa michiganensis, a water boatman
  • Hydrochoreutes michiganensis, a water mite
  • Lasioglossum michiganense, a sweat bee
  • Leptocera michigana, a small dung fly
  • Limonia michigana, a crane fly
  • Microphthalma michiganensis, a parasitic fly
  • Notholca michiganensis, a rotifer
  • Osmia michiganensis, a leafcutting bee
  • Otites michiganus, a picture-winged fly
  • Oxyethira michiganensis, a purse casemaker caddisfly
  • Phytocoris michiganae, a plant bug
  • Piguetiella michiganensis, an earthworm
  • Piona michiganensis, a water mite
  • Pipunculus michiganensis, a big-headed fly
  • Protentomon michiganense, a proturan
  • Rivellia michiganensis, a picture-winged fly
  • Stelis michiganensis, a leafcutter bee
  • Tephritis michiganensis, a fruit fly
  • Triepeolus michiganensis, a bee


  • Amphora michiganensis, a diatom
  • Cyclotella bodanica var. michiganensis, a diatom
  • Cyclotella michiganiana, a diatom
  • Didyodon michiganensis, Michigan didymodon moss
  • Euastrum crassum michiganense, a green algae
  • Lilium michiganense, Michigan lily
  • Mimilus glabratus var. michiganensis, Michigan monkey-flower
  • Oedogonium argenteum michiganese, a green algae
  • Rubus michiganensis, Michigan dewberry

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