A few years ago, I asked for, and received help with, the construction of a fictitious name for a fictitious species. This question is similar. Again, I'm writing a story, this time involving locusts. I'd like to know

  1. whether the name Locusta hyacintho caelum is correctly formed (in terms of cases, especially), and

  2. whether I am correct in believing that (correctly formed!) it would translate as sky-blue (coloured) locust

  • 4
    My understanding is that scientific names aren't really composed as grammatical Latin phrases so much as just strings of nouns or adjectives, with each additional word indicating greater specificity as to species. I don't know much about it, but as a layman I would assume that Locusta hyacintho caelum is a subspecies of Locusta hyacintho which doesn't sound like what you want.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 11:51
  • 1
    @VladimirF Post that as an answer.
    – cmw
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


An epithet (adjective) I would use for the species is caeruleus "blue", "dark blue", "sky blue". It was commonly used to describe the blue colour of the sky and of the sea in classical Latin and is derived from the word caelum "sky" itself.

The locust name would be Locusta caerulea (feminine singular nominative).

You could also probably use a more direct Locusta caelicolor, which directly means sky-coloured and is rarely used to name some taxons, e.g. a bird subspecies Tangara chilensis caelicolor, but I do not think it is better. Other sky-related epithets include caelestis, caelestinus, caelestialis.

Scientific names of organisms are composed of a generic name, an epithet that denotes the specific species, and optionally can be further distinguished into supspecies, variety, form or similar.

Locusta - generic name
Locusta migratoria - species
Locusta migratoria migratoria - a subspecies, the nominate one where the type specimen used to describe the species belongs
Locusta migratoria cinerascens - a different subspecies

Sometimes two words may be joined to form the epithet, then they are connected with a hyphen:

Capsella bursa-pastoris

I am not qualified enough to comment much on your proposed form Locusta hyacintho caelum from the grammar point of view, because I do not understand it. For me, hyacynthus is a type of plant (either some plant called by that name by the Romans or a modern Hyacinthus). Anyway, Locusta is feminine so the epithet should be feminine as well.

You could have a locust that resembles a hyacinth - Locusta hyacinthoides

  • 1
    Thank you very much! That was exactly the information I was looking for. Commented Nov 6, 2021 at 11:01

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