Forelius naming contest update!

Tagul Word cloud in the shape of an ant of all ant name submissions

Wow that's a lot of names! Click on the image for the interactive version!


Wow! When I sat down to compile a complete list of all of our submissions for our ant naming contest, I had no idea how many creative, hilarious and thoughtful suggestions there would be from our citizen scientists! We had so many wonderful submissions from scientists, Darwin Day museum visitors, blog commenters, entire elementary school classrooms and teachers. It has been entirely too much fun to sift through all of the names and reasons for givingĀ Forelius pruinosus a creative common name. So while we spend some time sorting through the submissions so that we may put it to a popular vote, we just wanted to extend our many thanks for participating in this fun project. It’s exciting that we can celebrate biodiversity by continuing to give animals names!

Here are some highlights from Mrs. Kennedy’s Second grade class submissions:

Vote for "Grover Ant" as the name by Rhiannon


Vote for "But Trap Ant" by Katie


Vote for "Dancing Ant" by Daniela


Vote for "Greedy Ant" by Casey



This is your last chance to make a submission in the comments section below — We’re closing the “polls” at 5p EST on Friday, March 1. Help us give Forelius pruinosus a common name!

By |2016-11-22T13:47:28-05:00February 28th, 2013|

About the Author:

Lea Shell
Lea Shell is an entomologist and educator who devotes her time convincing others just how wonderfully important insects and microbes are to our lives. She enjoys playing with slime mold, ants, GPS units, climate loggers and interviewing scientists about their middle school experiences.


  1. Avatar
    Vasile February 28, 2013 at 10:28 am - Reply

    How does the name “Zuko Ant” sound? The characteristics remind me of Danny Zuko (John Travolta) in Grease. The word Zuko also closely sounds like the latin word for “Sugar.” Just like in the movie, these ants had to change different habitats (just like John Travolta had to try different clubs and teams [environments] for school) to accommodate for success with who he loved. These ants have to change environment for what they love—but in the end they still are Zuko ants, just as Travolta was who he was.

    Also, Zuko can dance! These ants and the character Zuko have many similarities in common that I could continue writing about, listing off love for dessert, greed to keep away others to what they cherish, a craving for the limelight, they’re not spiny or buff but know how to be tough, they know how to gatecrash another competitor’s party. The Zuko ant also has a very nice ring to it which people will be able to catch onto quickly and will make unique identification easy for everyone.

    Vasile B.
    AntsNational World of Ants
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

  2. Avatar
    Tim Jones June 18, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Forelius pruinosus are commonly called “blue cheese ants” because when crushed they smell like blue cheese. I’m taking my naturalist friend’s word for it.

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