For the leathery sea squirt, life mainly revolves around finding a surface to anchor itself upon and remaining there for the rest of its long life, sucking in seawater and spitting it out again.

With its knobbly body, toughness – it can survive for decades - and propensity for squirting seawater, it clearly lives up to its English name.

Now, however, it has a new and, some may say, far more poetic-sounding name.

It, along with dozens of other animals and plants which, as the climate shifts have made Scotland and the UK their home, have received Gaelic names, bringing them in line with the locals and reflecting the language’s rich traditional connection to the natural world.

In most cases, species with fairly ordinary names in English become far more romantic in tone when transformed into Gaelic. The bearded tit, usually found in the south and east of England, becomes cuilcear staiseach - ‘moustached reed-worker’ - and the azure damselfly is cruinneag liath meaning grey, tidy girl.

Others, including the leathery sea squirt, are more literal in their translation: spùtachan-mara leatharach means spouting, sea and leathery.

Most Gaelic versions reflect the creature or plants distinctive features. In readiness for the expected arrival of Muntjac deer, originally from China and now spreading across England, researchers came up with fiadh-comhartaich, meaning ‘barking, rib-faced deer’.

And the surf scoter, more often found on the coasts of Gaelic-speaking Nova Scotia and occasionally appearing on the Scottish coast, becomes lach-dhubh tuinne, meaning “black duck of the wave”.

The naming of incoming species into Gaelic is the result of a collaborative project that has brought language experts, naturists, scientists and artists together to unpick their English and native names, research their origins, and rebuild them into Gaelic.

It has led to 40 species, spanning plants, birds, butterflies, marine life, slugs and even snow-bed algae, to be christened with new and often extremely evocative names. The project, supported by NatureScot and Gaelic language body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, was inspired by the Gaelic word ‘dualchas’. Similar to ‘heritage’ it encompasses the bonds between the natural world, land and its people through language, tradition and culture.

The Gaelic language has traditionally named animals and plants in a way that reflects aspects of the landscape, traditions and local cultures.

An exhibition, From the Bird’s Mouth - Bho Bheul an Eòin - featuring watercolours of each newly named species by acclaimed wildlife artist Derek Robertson – whose idea inspired the project - and a Gaelic haiku written in their honour by Skye-based Irish poet Rody Gorman, has now opened at Grinneabhat in Bragar, and will later visit Fife and Edinburgh.

A new book of the same name is due to be published next month. It will bring the art and poems together with Gaelic and English explanations behind the species’ names, origins, how they made their way from distant shores to the UK and how our changing climate is aiding their movement.

Mr Robertson, a Fife-based Gaelic speaker and wildlife artist, said the project aims to highlight climate change and new species arriving in Scotland, while demonstrating how Gaelic continues to evolve today.

“Gaelic has a rich tradition of naming things in the natural world,” he said. “Things that are named in Gaelic have a pattern of meaning, so all the finches, for example, are named after species of plants or trees, and groups of birds like storks and heron are corra.”

Corra is Gaelic for ‘odd’, reflecting the birds’ distinctive long, spindly legs, thin necks and sharp beaks.

He added: “I learned Gaelic as an adult, and it was obvious that there were animals and plants that did not have a Gaelic name.

“The options were to follow the English name and directly translate it, but following the English name feels out of place - it’s uncomfortable, because we know that language would just create names organically.

“People were also hesitant to just coin a name in case they get it wrong.

“This is a good way to talk about the changing environment that we live in, these new species and the creative nature of Gaelic as a living language.”

The project took researchers on a journey that spanned languages at home at abroad, researching Irish Gaelic, Welsh, Manx and Scandinavian to see if names for certain species already exist in those languages, and the thinking behind their names in the locations were they originated.

Some, such as the leathery sea squirt, were suitable for literal translations, while in others, new words were devised. The red-necked wallaby which has taken up residence on the Loch Lomond island of Inchconnachan after being imported by a former owner, posed a particular issue, as the Gaelic alphabet does not feature the letters ‘w’ or ‘y’.

Researchers involved eventually settled on uallabaidh ruadh-mhuinealach – wallaby with the red neck.

The project involved representatives from a wide range of organisations, including the National Museum of Scotland, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and nature organisation Buglife, along with Gaelic experts.

Mr Robertston added: “We drew up a list of names for each species and looked at translations of specific names, the English name, looked to see if there was an Irish or Welsh or Scandinavian name.

“We looked at its name in its own home range and looked at whether it made sense in Gaelic.

“We then came up with a shortlist and went back to committee of advisors and asked which ones they liked. There was a vote and those that were a ‘draw’ we ended up humming and hawing until we decided whose opinion was best.

“It’s been a fascinating project to work on and I have learned about a lot of species never aware of before.”

He added that the book will explain how each species arrived. “Sometimes it’s human agency, they’ve hitched a lift across or been introduced, with others, it’s climate change.

“A are a real problem, some are less of a problem. Some seem to have found a niche and are quite welcome addition to our flora and fauna.

“The variety of stories behind them that is so fascinating.”

Phil Baarda, Ecosystems and Land Use Officer at NatureScot, said: "Scotland's climate is changing and new wildlife species are establishing themselves here.

“This project brings Gaelic's intrinsic link with nature and place into sharp focus. From The Bird's Mouth is a superb example of linguists, scientists, artists and public bodies working collaboratively to ensure that Gaelic maintains its connection to our evolving ecology.”