- animals and plants

Common names is a dictionary of common names of animals, plants and other organisms. The main principle of including a name is "as used". This means that somebody used this name in a book, website or other document. The goal of collecting as many names as possible has priority over the quality of the names. A name and its translations should be found independantly of its quality in terms of valid, deprecated or invalid.


Scientific names should be valid names. But to follow the principle of "as used" other scientific names (synonyms) are also included. does not claim to be an authorative source for valid or official taxonomy.


Languages are included if they have an ISO 639-1 or ISO 639-2 language code. Language codes are different from country codes, e.g. "UK" is the country of United Kingdom, but the language code of Ukrainian. There is no distinction between local variants. Identical languages like Romanian [ro] and Moldovan [mo] are not merged, because they have different ISO language codes. Ancient or extinct languages are included (remember: "as used"). Some languages are written in more than one script, e.g. Kazakh is written in Cyrillic, Latin or Arabic, or Japanese uses mainly three scripts - Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana.

Characters uses UNICODE to display all the different characters, and strictly is encoded in UTF-8. If you see damaged characters, there can be the following reasons:

There are other known problems with some browsers. E.g. Mozilla/Firefox Version 2 does not display some Indic scripts correctly. Lynx has no BIDI support, i.e. cannot display mixed text direction.


Declension is the inflection of nouns and adjectives to indicate such features as number (typically singular vs. plural), case, gender (male, female, neutral) and so on. Names of species are written in singular without an article. But in some seldom cases the article is part of the name, e.g. "The moth". Groups of animals are written in plural, e.g. "Birds".


Type a name into the search field and press enter or click the search button.


Helmut Wollmersdorfer <>
Wien, Austria

All rights reserved.

Links and References provides an easy method for direct linking to a name or search string. If you want e.g. link to "Viola" write

Because not all browsers support links encoded in UTF-8, it is recommended to URL-encode the link, e.g. "Viola odorata"

Or as an example of a name in Persian language should be cited including the date of access, because the content can change. E.g. a formal citation should look like

Wollmersdorfer, H., 2006. - Dictionary of Common Names. 
World-wide electronic publication, Wien (Vienna), Austria.; searched on 22 December 2006.

Data Download

Please don't use spiders or robots to download large amounts of data. The amount of data of all generated web pages is 1000 times larger than the underlying raw databases.

If you want larger parts, please write a mail to Helmut Wollmersdorfer <> including your full name, the name of your organisation, your role (e.g. scientist, student), for which purpose you need the data, details about republishing, which parts you want.