A Comprehensive List of Animal Group Names

Updated on March 11, 2020
Sammendoran profile image

Sam majored in English and used to work as an English substitute teacher. She is now an editor for a non-fiction publishing house.

While some animals' collective names have become quite well-known over the years, most are still fairly obscure, and some are just downright strange.
While some animals' collective names have become quite well-known over the years, most are still fairly obscure, and some are just downright strange. | Source

English is a strange language, and nothing is stranger than the variety of collective nouns assigned to groups of particular animals. For example, did you know that a collection of crows is called a murder? Or that a crowd of sloths is referred to as a bed?

Animal Group Names

Mammals and Marsupials

  • Apes: troop or shrewdness
  • Baboons: troop or flange
  • Badgers: cete
  • Bats: colony or cauldron
  • Bears: sleuth or sloth
  • Beavers: colony or family
  • Bloodhounds: sute
  • Boars: sounder
  • Buffalo: obstinacy or gang
  • Camels: caravan, flock, train, or herd
  • Cats: clowder, pounce, glaring, or destruction (if they're wild)
  • Cattle: mob
  • Cheetas: coalition
  • Colts: rag or rake
  • Deer: herd or parcel
  • Dogs: litter (if they're puppies), pack (if they're wild), or cowardice (if they're curs)
  • Dolphins: pod
  • Donkeys: pace
  • Elephants: herd, parade, or memory
  • Elk: gang
  • Ferrets: business, hob (male), jill (female), kit (babies)
  • Foxes: leash, skulk, or earth (this is the oddest of all group names in my opinion)
  • Giraffes: tower
  • Gnus: implausibility
  • Goats: trip, drove, herd, flock, or tribe
  • Gorillas: troop or band
  • Hedgehogs: array
  • Hippopotamuses: thunder or bloat
  • Hyenas: clan or cackle

A group of pandas is referred to as "an embarrassment."
A group of pandas is referred to as "an embarrassment." | Source
  • Jaguars: prowl or shadow
  • Kangaroos: mob or troop
  • Kittens: kindle, litter, or intrigue
  • Lemurs: conspiracy
  • Leopards: leap
  • Lions: pride or sawt
  • Martens: richness
  • Moles: labor
  • Monkeys: troop or barrel
  • Mules: pack, span, or barren
  • Narwhals: blessing
  • Otters: raft or romp
  • Oxen: drove, team, yoke
  • Pandas: embarrassment
  • Pigs: drift, drove, sounder, team, or passel
  • Polar Bears: pack, aurora, or celebration
  • Porcupines: prickle
  • Porpoises: turmoil, pod, school, or herd
  • Prairie dogs: colonies or coteries
  • Rabbits: colony, nest, warren, husk, down, or herd
  • Raccoons: gaze, boars (group of males), sows (group of females)
  • Rhinoceroses: stubbornness or crash
  • Seals: harem
  • Sloths: bed
  • Squirrels: scurry or dray (a mother and her babies in a nest)
  • Tigers: streak or ambush
  • Whales: pod, gam, or herd
  • Wolves: pack, rout, or route (when in movement)
  • Wombats: wisdom
  • Zebras: herd, zeal, or dazzle

A group of crows is referred to as "a murder."
A group of crows is referred to as "a murder." | Source


  • Albatross: rookery

  • Bitterns: sedge
  • Buzzards: wake
  • Bobolinks: chain
  • Coots: cover
  • Cormorants: gulp
  • Chickens: clutch
  • Crows: murder, horde, unkindness, or conspiracy
  • Dotterels: trip
  • Doves: dule or pitying (used only for turtle doves)
  • Ducks: brace, team, flock (when in flight), raft (when on water), paddling, or badling
  • Eagles: convocation
  • Falcons: cast
  • Finches: charm
  • Flamingos: stand or flamboyance
  • Geese: flock, gaggle (when on the ground), or skein (when in flight)
  • Grouse: pack (in late season)
  • Hawks: cast, kettle (when in flight), or boil (when there are two or more spiraling in air)
  • Herons: sedge or siege
  • Hummingbirds: charm
  • Jays: scold or party
  • Lapwings: deceit
  • Larks: exaltation
  • Lyrebirds: musket
  • Mallards: brace or sord (when in flight)
  • Magpies: tiding, charm, or gulp

Interesting Fact

Some of these animals are solitary, so it is ironic that they have group names dedicated to their kind when they are rarely found in groups.

  • Nightingales: watch
  • Owls: parliament
  • Parrots: pandemonium or company
  • Partridge: covey
  • Peacocks: ostentation or muster
  • Pelicans: Pod or squadron
  • Penguins: convent, tuxedo, colony, muster, parcel, or rookery
  • Pheasants: nest, nide (a brood), nye, guff (in-flight), or bouquet (take-off)
  • Plovers: congregation or wing (when in flight)
  • Ptarmigans: covey
  • Rooks: building
  • Quail: bevy or covey
  • Ravens: unkindness
  • Seagulls: squabble
  • Snipes: walk or wisp
  • Sparrows: host
  • Starlings: murmuration
  • Storks: muster or mustering
  • Swans: bevy, game, or wedge (when in flight)
  • Teal: spring
  • Thrushes: mutation
  • Turkeys: gang or rafter
  • Vultures: committee, kettle, or wake (refers to a group feeding on carcass)
  • Woodcocks: fall
  • Woodpeckers: descent

A Mutation of Thrushes?

During medieval times, it was a common belief that thrushes shed their legs and regrew them every 10 years. This led to the creation of the collective term "mutation."

A group of iguanas is referred to as "a slaughter."
A group of iguanas is referred to as "a slaughter." | Source

Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fish

  • Alligators: congregation
  • Barracudas: battery
  • Cobras: quiver
  • Crocodiles: bask
  • Eels: bed
  • Fish: draft, nest, run, school, or shoal
  • Frogs: army
  • Herring: army
  • Iguanas: slaughter
  • Komodo dragons: bank
  • Rattlesnakes: rhumba

A Generation of Vipers?

The term "generation" comes from Matthew 23:33 in the King James version of the Bible: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

  • Salamanders: maelstrom
  • Salmon: run
  • Sardines: family
  • Sharks: shiver
  • Snakes: nest, pit, or den
  • Stingrays: fever
  • Toads: knot
  • Trout: hover
  • Turtles: bale or nest
  • Vipers: generation

A group of butterflies is referred to as "a kaleidoscope."
A group of butterflies is referred to as "a kaleidoscope." | Source

Insects, Arachnids, and Other Animals

  • Bees: grist, hive, or swarm
  • Butterflies: kaleidoscope, flutter, or swarm
  • Caterpillars: army
  • Clams: bed
  • Cockroaches: intrusion
  • Crabs: cast or consortium
  • Flies: business
  • Grasshoppers: cloud
  • Jellyfish: bloom, fluther, or smack
  • Lobsters: risk
  • Locusts: plague
  • Mosquitoes: swarm or scourge
  • Octopuses: consortium or rally
  • Oysters: bed
  • Snails: rout, walk, hood, or escargatoire
  • Spiders: cluster
  • Squid: audience
  • Worms: bunch

A group of nuns is referred to as "a superfluity."
A group of nuns is referred to as "a superfluity." | Source


Collective names are not unique to animals. Groups of people have odd collective names as well. Some examples include:

  • Boys: blush
  • Nuns: superfluity
  • Cobblers: drunkship
  • Merchants: faith
  • Cooks: hastiness

Did You Know?

Animal group names date back to medieval times when a list of collective terms for animals first appeared in The Book of Saint Albans, printed in 1486. This book, written by a nun named Juliana Barnes, covered the topics of hunting, fishing, and coats of arms, and it also included the first-ever list of collective nouns for every type of animal one could possibly imagine. Originally, these nouns were used primarily as hunting terms, but they have since extended into the everyday vernacular.

There you have it, folks! You'll never have to guess as to which group name is correct again. And if you do, just say "a group of . . . "

In most instances, you'll want to use "a group of . . . " rather than the names on this list, since most of these terms are archaic and aren't very widely known. Your friends (and even teachers) might give you weird looks if you use these terms when speaking. This list is may prove essential, however, if you are writing and want to use terms with more flare. If I left anything out, please let me know in the comments below.


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    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

      what about a crowd ?

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      and cows?

    • profile image


      7 weeks ago

      i am looking for a fleet

    • profile image


      4 months ago

      Thanks, and true I have never heard majority of these collective names. I am going to print out the list and try to learn them, see how many I am going to remember off head.

    • profile image

      Tim Millan 

      4 months ago

      An episode of sparrows

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      Ive been told a group of worms is called an Opeth

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      im looking for a range

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      Our class has been searching for the animal whose group is called a jug.

    • profile image


      6 months ago

      very good thank you :)

    • profile image

      Gopal Dutta 

      7 months ago

      It's very important for us

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      it was really helpful but would be even more helpful if it listed the group names for sheep and horse but other than that it was great!

    • profile image

      Duncan Sande 

      8 months ago

      Thanks, quite informative,l do appreciate, would you kindly do one for sounds, made by animals?

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Really makes me question the accuracy when category 1 is "mammals and marsupials", and the first two animals listed are "albatross" and "alligator"...

    • profile image

      A bunch 

      9 months ago

      Of worms

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      What about cow

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Elephant, Lion, ant, Sheep,

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      How about an ugliness of warthogs?

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      Now I don't need to think of what they are called cause I know it all!!!

    • profile image


      10 months ago


    • profile image


      19 months ago



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