A sample specimen of a dead northern giant hornet is shown by a pest biologist from the Washington State Department of Agriculture on July 29th, 2020. Photo by Karen Ducey / Getty Images
What’s in an insect name? If that name happens to be “murder hornet” or “gypsy moth,” the moniker happens to be loaded with misinformation and / or prejudice. That’s why the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has axed both names — and more changes are likely on the way.
The ESA has a project called Better Common Names that aims to put an end to insect names that might be harmful to people. This year, the group announced that it adopted the name “northern giant hornet,” refusing to accept popular colloquial titles for the invasive insect. It also changed “gypsy moth” to “spongy moth.” They’re also on the lookout for other names that need changing. Just about anybody can fill out a form, and the ESA will consider the proposal along…
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