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A Comprehensive List of Animal Group Names

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.

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."

  • 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."

Birds

  • 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
  • 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 group of iguanas is referred to as "a slaughter."

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

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
  • 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."

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."

People

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

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.

Comments

Alden Loveshade on August 28, 2020:

Thanks for the list. But here's a couple notes.

One, there's a category for "Mammals and Marsupials." Marsupials are members of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia; they are mammals by definition.

Mice and Rats aren't listed.

Gary on August 10, 2020:

And I thought a group of Baboons was a parliament

Pascal Thomas on July 20, 2020:

Oh the wonder and joy of the English language!!!!

Girlz999 on June 15, 2020:

what about a crowd ?

rikki on June 04, 2020:

and cows?

hi on May 17, 2020:

i am looking for a fleet

Nejabro@yahoo.com on February 17, 2020:

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.

Tim Millan on February 12, 2020:

An episode of sparrows

Gavin on January 29, 2020:

Ive been told a group of worms is called an Opeth

pinkie on January 17, 2020:

im looking for a range

Fabian on January 16, 2020:

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

john on January 07, 2020:

very good thank you :)

Gopal Dutta on November 27, 2019:

It's very important for us

Duncan Sande on November 03, 2019:

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

Jonathan on October 16, 2019:

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

A bunch on October 11, 2019:

Of worms

Leul on October 04, 2019:

What about cow

Sahilali on September 27, 2019:

Elephant, Lion, ant, Sheep,

Poop on September 12, 2019:

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

MyDadLeft69 on September 02, 2019:

Cool

landon on December 04, 2018:

cool

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