Quite a lot of Latin binomials from different genera contain the same species name. For example, there are a number that reflect the physical properties of the species (Tables have the latin name, a translation, and the number of European species according to the European Nature Information System).
nigr[a|o|um] black 545 minim[us|a] small 325 alb[us|um|a] white 264 maxim[us|a] big 166
and some which reflect the way in which they become apparent to us humans
vulgar[is|e] common 691 sativa cultivated 70 domesticus domesticated 19
as well as reduplication for particularly salient/familiar species (e.g. Gallus gallus, Mephitis mephitis)
So, I'm wondering why there are so many
elegans (471 European species on the database). It's particularly widespread, but meaning "elegant" or "refined", it's a rather nondescript name to give. Maybe someone might describe a species like this if they were really running thin on defining characteristics, but if this is the reason, why would the name occur so often?
So I'm fairly sure I'm missing something important about how species get named. What is/was the reason for naming so many species "elegans"? Does it have perhaps have something to do with type species?