Animal Group Names: Word List

Names for a group of animals are types of collective nouns, and they allow us to categorize animals of the same species. The collective naming of animal groups is believed to have been invented in the Dark Ages when people decided to give characteristics to a gaggle of geese or a murther of crowes.

Groups of animal names examples

Though these animal group names might sound bizarre or even hilarious to modern English speakers, they are a part of our linguistic history. With the development of language, some names for groups of animals have become archaic and unused; nevertheless, in an ode to our ancestors, we've got a word list for groups of animal names. See if you can spot any you might have seen before!

Groups Of Animal Names

We can give you many examples. So, here are 70 groups of animal names in their collective noun forms; some animal groups have more than one collective noun.

Amphibians 

  • Frogs: army
  • Toads: knot
  • Salamanders: band

Birds

  • Crows: a murder or murther (Old English)
  • Doves: a flight, arc, or piteousness
  • Falcons: a cast
  • Flamingoes: a stand or flamboyance
  • Geese: gaggle, flock, plump, or team
  • Gulls: a colony or flock
  • Hawks: a flight
  • Herons: a flight, siege, or a sedge
  • Magpies: a flock
  • Owls: a parliament
  • Parrots: a pandemonium
  • Ravens: an unkindness

Insects

  • Ants: a colony, a nest, or an army
  • Bees: a swarm, a bike, or a hive
  • Butterflies: flight, flutter, or rabble
  • Caterpillars: an army
  • Dragonflies: a cluster or flight
  • Flies: a swarm, a cloud, or business
  • Gnats: a cloud, horde, or rabble
  • Grasshoppers: a swarm or cloud
  • Hornets: a nest, a bike, or a swarm
  • Lice: a colony
  • Mosquitos: a swarm or cloud

Mammals

  • Armadillos: a roll
  • Bats: cloud, colony, or flock
  • Beavers: a family or colony
  • Buffalo: an obstinacy or gang
  • Camels: a caravan or a train
  • Cheetahs: a coalition
  • Elephants: a memory, a herd, or a parade
  • Elk: a gang
  • Foxes: a skulk or a leash
  • Giraffes: a tower
  • Goats: a tribe or a trip
  • Gorillas: a band or troop
  • Hippos: bloat or a herd
  • Horses: a stable, a stud, or a team
  • Hyenas: a cackle
  • Jaguars: a prowl or shadow
  • Leopards: a leap
  • Lions: a pack, a pride, or sawt
  • Meerkats: a mob
  • Tigers: a streak or ambush
  • Wombat: a peregrine
  • Zebras: a zeal, a cohort, a dazzle

Marine

  • Clams: a bed
  • Crabs: a cast
  • Dogfish: a troop
  • Dolphins: a pod
  • Eels: a bed or swarm
  • Fish: a school or shoal
  • Jellyfish: a smack or a bloom
  • Sardines: a family
  • Sharks: a shiver
  • Stingrays: a fever

Pets

  • Cats: a glaring
  • Dogs: a pack (wild dogs), a kennel, or a mute
  • Ferrets: a business or a busyness
  • Guinea pigs: a herd
  • Hamsters: a horde
  • Kittens: a kindle or litter
  • Rabbits: a nest, a litter (young), or a wrack (young)

Reptiles

  • Alligators: a congregation
  • Chameleons: camouflage
  • Crocodiles: a bask, a float, or congregation
  • Iguanas: a mess
  • Rattlesnakes: a rhumba
  • Turtles: a bale

Play Around With Names For Groups Of Animals

Tips and Tricks

Discovering animal group names is not only funny but fascinating. If thinking about a flutter of butterflies, a rhumba of rattlesnakes, or a business of ferrets makes your brain go fuzzy, look at these tips and tricks when learning groups of animal names.

  1. Some animals share the same or similar group names. Types of birds, for example, often share the collective noun "flock of."
  2. Animals that nest will often be called a "nest of."
  3. Animal group names that refer to young animals often use "litter of" because "litter" is when multiple offspring are born from the same mother at one time.
  4. Lots of animal group names refer to the characteristics of an animal. For example, take a lounge of lizards; lizards like to lounge in the sun or heat, hence the collective noun.
  5. In contrast, take a flamboyance of flamingos; flamingos are seen as bold, colorful, and striking, making the group for this type of bird quite descriptive.

Groups of Animal Names Quiz

Time to test your knowledge and see how many you get right! The answers are below.

1) What is a group of rattlesnakes called?

2) What is a group of fish called?

3) What is a group of lions called?

4) What is a group of elephants called?

5) What is a group of cheetahs called?

6) What is a group of jellyfish called?

7) What is a group of owls called?

8) What is a group of toads called?

9) What is a group of gnats called?

10) And finally, what is a group of stingrays called?

Answers

1) Rhumba

2) School or shoal

3) Pride, pack, or sawt

4) Parade, memory, or herd

5) Coalition

6) Smack or bloom

7) Parliament

8) Knot

9) Cloud, horde, or rabble

10) Fever

And there we have it, a word list of animal group names! This list is by no means all the names for groups of animals, so next time you learn a new one, write it down and show it to others. Language is evolving all the time, and without a doubt, there will be less murder of crows and more paddling of ducks.