Gypsy Moths Being Renamed After Name Deemed 'Offensive'


By Cassandra Fairbanks

Gypsy moths are being renamed as part of the Entomological Society of America’s Better Common Names Project — which seeks to get rid of terms that may be offensive in insect names.

The group decided that the term “gypsy” may be offensive to the Romani people.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the moth is “one of the first two for the organization’s Better Common Names Project, which seeks to replace names that contain derogative terms, inappropriate geographic references and for those that disregard what native communities called the species.”

The moth will now go by their scientific name “lymantria dispar,” which doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily.

The Gypsy ant is also being renamed and should now be called “aphaenogaster araneoides,” which people will surely use all the time.

“The purpose of common names is to make communication easier between scientists and the public audiences they serve. By and large, ESA’s list of recognized insect common names succeeds in this regard, but names that are unwelcoming to marginalized communities run directly counter to that goal,” ESA President Michelle S. Smith, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re working to ensure all ESA-approved insect common names meet our standards for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The madness will not stop there. The ESA is now asking the public to help them find things that people might be outraged about, so that they can change those names too.

“The Better Common Names Project seeks community input on ESA’s common names list and will direct the formation of working groups to develop and recommend new common names where needed. In March 2021, the ESA Governing Board approved new policies for acceptable insect common names, which bar names referencing ethnic or racial groups and names that might stoke fear; the policies also discourage geographic references, particularly for invasive species,” the organization’s statement continued.

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16 responses to “Gypsy Moths Being Renamed After Name Deemed ‘Offensive’”

  1. Maiafay says:

    Yeah, still using gypsy moths. They can rewrite names all they want. No one will use them.

  2. Wolv256 says:

    But “Dirty hobo thief prostitute moth” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

  3. hcarlb says:

    I am sort of in the @Devilgun camp.

  4. hcarlb says:

    I am not a taxonomist (more of a math/physics guy), however, I find that Lannaeusian classification is rarely more illuminating than common names. Currently, there is a move afoot to reclassify many species due to a better understanding of their DNA. Many of the Roma believe that all exonyms for the Romani people are disparaging, and since Lymantria dispar dispar is an invasive species causing great harm, I feel that it is alright to disparage the moth. That is unless one is from the south of France.

  5. Devilsgun says:

    These Wokefucks sure do get their pubes snagged in their twisted panties over every fucking thing. Fuck’em

  6. MAMAGILL says:

    Yes! Yes it does!

  7. axegarden says:

    We should note that this is likely being used to shame and censor well-meaning academics that use the term in their regular discourse. What seems like a relatively light-hearted trolling is more akin to a Marxist takeover of academia.

  8. KDiddy says:

    Well, this solves the mystery of what one does with a gender studies degree.

  9. Vashts1985 says:

    thats retarded.

  10. random_number says:

    I dont think the average person interfacing with the pests formerly known as Gypsy Moths will get the memo or care about what these these idiots have to say.

  11. cutter says:

    How does everyone feel about “Bitch Moths” then? Work for y’all?

  12. BeetleOtaku says:

    I love this story, because I am a beetle.

  13. Cg0osemer says:

    See a similar idea put forward to “decolonise” bird names: https://theconversation.com/five-shifts-to-decolonise-ecological-science-or-any-field-of-knowledge-161750#

    The article reads like a highschool essay, though allegedly the lead author is an anthropologist.

    The comments are also hilarious.

  14. Can these people buy a life

  15. Scafflaww says:

    Soooo, a bunch of woke white women are protecting helpless, unintelligent minorities. They are doing the lords work for sure!