Moth’s previous name was removed by these bug experts after being reviewed for offensiveness
Insect experts abandoned the generic name of destructive insects because it was considered racial slander.
The Entomological Society of America, which oversees the common names of bed bugs, is canceling the common names of gypsy moths and lesser-known gypsy ants. The organization announced this week that it changed the common name of an insect for the first time because of its aggressiveness. In the past, they just reassigned unscientific and accurate names.
Social chairman Michel S. Smith said: “This is a kind of racial slander, which was rejected by the Roma long ago.” “Secondly, no one wants to be associated with harmful and invasive pests.”
The association is carefully studying some of the more than 2,000 common insect names to remove derogatory and geographically inaccurate names. About 20 years ago, a committee of fish experts changed the name of this great white shark to Goliath grouper.
Moths are invasive and destructive small animals in the caterpillar stage. May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois, says they have a very large appetite and can strip entire forests.
Berenbaum said these moths may be named because they have hair with small air pockets when they are larvae. These air pockets are like balloons that can float them for several kilometers and wander around like their name. Another theory is that the tan of male adult moths may be similar to that of Roma.
Smith said that the Entomological Society is now looking for a new generic name, and this process will take several months. Before that, even with one bite, Smith said that moths should be called by their scientific names. Lymantria dispar or L. Differences.
Berenbaum — who has written about plants, animals and genetic mutations with weird names — said that given the destructive nature of moths, she and others would have some thoughts about a descriptive new name.
“You are not allowed to swear,” she said, “so that’s it.”