What is the collective noun of ants

 

COLLECTIVE NOUNS

Ever wondered what the collective noun is for various groups of animals, birds or insects? Here are some of the obvious and not so obvious.

I would like to point out that these terms have not been officially "authenticated". 

 

Ron Orts

A CULTURE of bacteria.                                        

Chris Moffatt

TERMS FOR GROUPS OF ANIMALS, BIRDS AND INSECTS

ANIMAL/SPECIES

COLLECTIVE NOUN/TERM

ANTELOPESA HERD of antelopes.
ANTS

A COLONY of ants.                                              

Melissa Bee

An ARMY of ants.

A STATE or SWARM of ants.

APES

A SHREWDNESS of apes

ASSES

A HERD or PACE of asses

A DROVE of asses.

BABOONSA TROOPof baboons

 Michael Haberl

A FLANGE of baboons

Judith Rich

A CONGRESS of baboons.

John Provost

BACTERIAA COLONY of bacteria.

Micribiologists call groups of bacteria COLONIES. A culture would consist of many colonies.

BADGERS

A CETE of badgers

BARRACUDASA BATTERY of barracudas.BASSA SHOAL of bass.                                                    

Melissa Bee.

BATSA COLONY of bats.                                                  

Melissa Bee.

A CLOUDof bats.

Keith Harris

BEARS

A SLOTH or SLEUTH of bears

BEAVERSA COLONY of beavers.

A FAMILY of beavers.

BEES

A GRIST, HIVE, SWARM, DRIFT or BIKE of bees

A CLUSTER, ERST or NEST of bees.

BIRDS

A FLOCK, FLIGHT, or PARCEL of birds.
A POD of birds (small flock)
A VOLARY of birds (in an aviary)
A BRACE = a pair of gamebirds or waterfowl *  

* Melissa Bee.

A DISSIMULATION of birds.                                 

Phillip Joss

BISONA HERD of bison.BITTERNSA SEDGE of bitterns.                                               

Melissa Bee.

BOAR (WILD)

A SOUNDER or SINGULAR of wild boar

BOBOLINKSA CHAIN of bobolinks (whatever they might be!!) 

Melissa Bee.

Just in case there is anyone else out there who, like me, doesn't know what a Bobolink is I have been reliably informed by Amelia B., that it is a small bird.  The male is black and white with a yellow cap on his head and the female is golden brown with brown markings.

Another name for a bobolink is a whippoorwill***
(their call sounds a little like someone saying the word whippoorwill).

Thanks to Eric Pittenger for this additional information.

***  Apparently this is not the case.

Clarice Olle has been kind enough to point out that the above is in fact incorrect.

A bob-o-link (short for Robert of Lincoln) is NOT the same bird as a whippoorwill.


John Canepa as also provided the following information:

Bobolinks and whippoorwills are two different birds. The bobolink is a small-medium size bird dwelling in open fields where it makes its nest on the ground and has one of the most amazing and hysterical songs ever. The whippoorwill is a medium size bird, active at night, with plumage so as that you practically step on them as they rest on the forest floor. An interesting note about the whippoorwill is that they will come to rest in a circle, with their tails all facing in so that they can be protected from danger.

Susan Vanderveen also confirms - I respectively submit the information that a Bobolink and Whip-poor-will are not two terms for one bird. They are two very distinct species.

BUCK

A BRACE OR CLASH of bucks.                      

Michael Haberl

I was looking at your wonderful list of animal collectives for my website (everbosity.wordpress.com) and came across the use of "brace" several times, firstly under birds. A brace is a pair of anything and not specifically related to any animal. A player can score a brace of goals in a football match for example. I wouldn't consider it a collective title.

Tench Ringgold

BUDGERIGARS A CHATTER of budgerigars. 

BUFFALO

A HERD, TROUP, GANG or OBSTINACY of buffalo

BULLOCKSA DROVE of bullocks.BUTTERFLIESA SWARM orRABBLE of butterflies.

A KALEIDOSCOPE of butterflies.                 

Christina Gonzales

A FLUTTER of butterflies.                                  

Priscilla Weikert 

A RAINBOW  of butterflies.

Amy Black

BUZZARDSA WAKE of buzzards.                                             

Melissa Bee

CAMELSA CARAVAN, FLOCK or TRAIN of camels.CARIBOUA HERD of caribou. CATERPILLARSAn ARMYof caterpillars.                                          

Melissa Bee

CATS

A CLOWDER of cats.    (sent in by Paul Chapin)
A POUNCE of cats.
A KINDLE, LITTER OR INTRIGUE  (for kittens)

                                                                        Melissa Bee 

A CLUTTER of cats.

A COMFORT of cats.                                           

Gary Goldring

A CHOWDER of cats.

Amy Black

A COLONY of cats (usually wild cats)

Jennifer Bradley

CATTLE

A HERD, DROVE or DRIFT of cattle.
A MOB of cattle (US and Australia*)

*John Slay

"Cattle" refers to both male and female cows.

Gwendolyn Cannon

Gwendolyn Cannon suggests that 'Cattle' refers to both male and female cows. You must be joshing me Gwendolyn. There is no such thing as a male cow ! He's either a "Bull" or a "steer/Ox". I'll bet you did that on purpose just to see how many responses you get, didn't you ?

Donald Gillis

Additional Clarification

Although Donald is, of course, correct, in defence of Gwendolyn I think she was using the term 'cow' colloquially as it is quite difficult to think of a term which covers both sexes (hence the use of the term 'cattle' in the first place.

According to Oxford Dictionaries - the definition of 'cattle' is 'large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk, or as beasts of burden; cows and oxen.'

Another term for male cattle is 'bullock'.  A bullock is a male domestic bovine animal that has been castrated and is raised for beef.

CHEETAHSA COALITION of cheetahs                                

Lisa Ashley Mayock

CHICKEN

A BROOD, CLUTCH, flock, run or PEEP of chicken

CHICKSA CLUTCH OR CHATTERING  of chicks.

 Michael Haberl

CHOUGHSA CHATTERING of choughs.CLAMSA BED of clams                                             

Clyde Hogendobler

COATI (COATIMUNDI)A BAND  of coati (coatimundi)COBRASA QUIVER of cobras                                       

Michael Haberl

COCKROACHESAn INTRUSION of cockroaches.                                

Melissa Bee

COLTSA RAG of colts.COOTSA COVERT or COVER* of coots.                             

*Melissa Bee

CORMORANTSA GULP (SOLITUDE)* OR FLIGHT of cormorants.  

                                                             *Melissa Bee

COWSA HERD of cows.

Patricia Ellistone

A KINE* of cows (12 cows are a FLINK)             

Michael Haberl

* This term is not widely used these days and is considered archaic by some.

"Kine" refers to only female cows (like a dairy herd). "Cattle" refers to both male and female cows.

Gwendolyn Cannon

SEE ALSO "CATTLE" above for other terms.

COYOTEA PACK of coyotes

A TRAIN of coyotes                                                                                Donald Kross

A BAND of coyotes                                                                                        Michael Haberl  

A ROUT of coyotes                                                                                                       Bud Stockwell

CRABSA BUSHEL*** of crabs                                              

Kristen Reece

A CAST of crabs

C. MacIntire

 

***For your information, a bushel of crabs is what you call it if you are buying crabs to eat. Bushel is the measurement of how many you will buy (i.e. Half a bushel, two bushels). Its like buying meat in pounds at the deli. eaten. I believe a group of live crabs is called a cast.

Steve Miller has also pointed out that it is incorrect to apply this label to certain specific species e.g. a bushel of crabs as you could equally have a bushel of corn.

 

CRANES

A HERD, SEIGE or SEDGE* of cranes               

* fMelissa Bee

CROCODILESA CONGREGATION or NEST

A BASK or FLOAT of crocodiles.                     

Michael Haberl

A STRIKER (unconfirmed)                                                   

Mike Paget

CROWS

A HOVER, MUSTER, or PARCEL of crows.

A MURDER of crows         

Jill Dobbs,  Rachael  Blomeley and anon.

A HORDE of crows.                                            

Melissa Bee 

A PARLIAMENT of crows.

Jill Dean

CUBS

A LITTER of cubs

CURLEW

A HERD of curlew

CURSA COWARDICE of curs.                                  

Michael Haberl

DEER

ROE DEER

A HERD, LEASH or MOB of deer

A BEVY of roe deer.                                              

Melissa BeeDOGFISHA TROOP of dogfish

DOGS

A PACK (wild dogs) or KENNEL of dogs
A COWARDICE of curs.                    )
A LITTER of puppies.                                              

 Melissa Bee   

DOLPHINSA SCHOOL of dolphins.

A POD of dolphins.                                                

Audrie Dugger 

DONKEYSA HERD or PACE of donkeys/asses                         

Melissa Bee & Michael Haberl

DOTTERELA TRIP of dotterel.                                                    

Melissa Bee

Apparently a Dotterel is a rare plover of upland areas of Eurasia.

Thanks to Linwood Lyons for supplying this useful information.

DOVES

A FLIGHT, DULE or DOLE of doves.
A PITYING of turtle doves.                                          

Melissa Bee

A PLAGUE of doves

Jay Johnson

DUCKS

A RAFT, PADDLING or BUNCH of ducks on water.
A TEAM, BRACE, BED, FLIGHT OR FLOCK* of wild ducks in flight.

Melissa Bee

A BADLING of ducks.

Gordon Potts

I was looking at your wonderful list of animal collectives for my website (everbosity.wordpress.com) and came across the use of "brace" several times, firstly under birds. A brace is a pair of anything and not specifically related to any animal. A player can score a brace of goals in a football match for example. I wouldn't consider it a collective title.

Tench Ringgold

DUNLINS

A FLING of dunlins

EAGLESA CONVOCATION of eagles.

A CONGREGATION of eagles.

 Mike Field

EELSAn ARRAY of eels.

John Beumer

A SEETHING of eels.

David Thomson

ELEPHANTS

A HERD or PARADE* of elephants          

*also Raila and Jon Foley

A CRASH of elephants.                                              

Susan Walsh

ELK

A HERD of elk.
A GANG of elk (US)

EMUSA MOB of emus.                                             

Michael Haberl

FERRETSA BUSINESS of ferrets.

                 ( Clyde Hogendobler, Phillip Joss & Brian Schott)

A BUSYNESS of ferrets.

 Angus Mackintosh

Other spellings of this term can be see at
https://www.all-about-ferrets.com/collective-noun-for-ferrets.html

 

FINCHES

A CHARM of finches

FISH

A SHOAL, DRAFT, NEST, SCHOOL* of fish.
A RUN of fish in motion.                                       

* Melissa Bee

FLAMINGOESA STAND of flamingoes.                                           

Melissa Bee

A FLAMBOYANCE of flamingoes.                             

Kevin Yocum

FLIES

A CLOUD, HATCH, BUSINESS* or SWARM of flies.   

                                                                           * Melissa Bee

FOXESA SKULK of foxes                                               

Clyde Hogendobler

A CLOUD, TROOP, or COMPANY of foxes.
A LEASH OR EARTH of foxes.*                          

* Melissa Bee                 

FROGSAn ARMY or COLONY of frogs.                         Michael Haberl

A KNOT of frogs.

Luke Fewings

GEESE

A GAGGLE or FLOCK of geese.
A SKEIN, TEAM or WEDGE of geese (in the air)
A PLUMP of geese (on water)

GERBILSA HORDE of gerbils.

GIRAFFES

A CORPS, TROOP, HERD  of giraffes.

A  TOWERof giraffes.

 Melissa Bee

A KINDERGARTEN of giraffes. 

  James Marohn

A JOURNEY of giraffes.                                 

 Raila and Jon Foley

A KALEIDOSCOPE of giraffes

Jess Gayner (via South African Game Ranger)

GNATSA CLOUD OR HORDE of gnats.                               

Melissa Bee

GNUSAn IMPLAUSIBILITY of gnus.                       

Andrew Davidson

GOATS

A FLOCK, HERD or TRIBE of goats

A TRIP of goats (This is not one I have heard of before - thank you Lee Lundberg)

GOLDFINCHESA CHARM of goldfinches.GOLDFISHA TROUBLING of goldfish.GORILLASA BAND of gorillas                                              

Clyde Hogendobler

A WHOOP of gorillas.

Several people have suggested a 'flange' of gorillas as this was featured in Series 2, episode 5 of 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' on the 28/04/1980 however, I feel this actually puts the term in doubt as appears to be qualified by Stephen Fry at:-

 
http://old.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8498&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15&sid=764b6eda4eab5327541dcc71faae5e12

Dotterels breed on our beach near Nelson, New Zealand, in the southern summer. They then migrate to Siberia for the northern summer, and so on. They are quite small dainty birds, you would never guess that they have such stamina.