For natural history students, professionals and enthusiasts some of the most entertaining, albeit fairly useless, facts are the collective nouns used to describe a group of organisms. From taxon to taxon, collective nouns are literary (a murder of crows), descriptive (a prickle of porcupines or a sneak of weasels), mundane (a shoal of sticklebacks), and even absurd (an aurora of polar bears).
When I first read the headline of Jonathan’s latest dispatch to the New York Times Scientist at Work blog, An Embarrassment of Anoles, I briefly thought that anoles had their very own collective noun. But alas, I was wrong and a group of anoles isn’t (yet) referred to as an embarrassment.
In a quick flurry of googling I found words for groups of various amphibians and reptiles: crocodiles (bask), cobras (quiver), iguanas (mess), frogs (knot), toads (knot), salamanders (congress) and lizards (lounge), to name a few. But nothing for anoles!
Does anyone know of a collective noun for anoles or, failing that, have a suggestion?