From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

The Lionesses aren't the only football team named after the female of the species

The Lionesses are the pride of England, but many other women's international football teams are also named after animals...

Published: August 2, 2022 at 1:54 pm

With England's Lionesses having taken home the top prize at this year's Euros, we took a look around the world to see which other women's teams are nicknamed after animals.


Head coach Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses may be purring in the Euros, but they aren't even the only lionesses in the women's game: Singapore's women's team are also the Lionesses; Cameroon's women are known as the Indomitable Lionesses; Macedonia's team are the Red Lions; Tajikistan has the Red Lion; Morocco's team are the Atlas Lions, while the Dutch team is nicknamed the Oranje Leeuwinnen, or Orange Lionesses.

Lion and lioness

Which women's football teams are nicknamed after animals?

Botswana – The Zebras

Brazil – As Canarinhas, or the Female Canaries

Brazil women's football team
It's easy to see how Brazil's team earned the nickname 'the Female Canaries'. © JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images


Cameroon – the Indomitable Lionesses

England – The Lionesses

Three Lions football badge
The England team's nickname comes from the famous Three Lions on their badge. © Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) – Super Falcons

Finland – Helmarit, or the Pearl Owls

Scandinavian teams like the Finnish side were for many years the pioneers of the women's game. ©Catherine Ivill - UEFA/Getty

Guyana– Lady Jaguars

Japan – Nadeshiko, or the Dianthus superbus flower

Fringed Pink (Dianthus superbus)
The Japanese side are the only team we've come across to be named after a plant, the fringed pink ( Dianthus superbus). © Federica Grassi/Getty

Lebanon – The Cedars

Macedonia – The Red Lions

Morocco – Atlas Lions

Netherlands – Oranje Leeuwinnen, or Orange Lionesses

Dutch women's football team
The Dutch women's side wear orange and have a lion on their badge – hence the Orange Lionesses. © ANP/Getty

New Zealand – Football Ferns

Nigeria – Super Falcons

Norway – Gresshoppene, or The Grasshoppers

Upright close-up shot of a common green grasshopper on a blade of grass
As well as being the name of a football club from Zürich, the Grasshoppers is the nickname of the Norwegian side. © Getty

Rwanda – She-Amavubi, or The She-Wasps

Serbia – Beli Orlovi, or The White Eagles

Singapore – The Lionesses

Tajikistan – The Persian Lion

Thailand – Changsuk, or The War Elephants


Uganda – Crested Cranes

A Grey or African crowned crane
The crane is the nickname of the Ugandan women's team, and appears on the country's flag. © guenterguni/Getty


Paul McGuinnessEditor of BBC Wildlife and

Paul is the editor of BBC Wildlife and A highly experienced magazine journalist with over 25 years in publishing, Paul was previously editor of BBC History Revealed and BBC Knowledge.


Sponsored content