Wokers Are Now Forcing Them To Rename A Species Of Moth Because…..
Amid a historic outbreak in several states, the 'gypsy' moth is being renamed over concerns about it being an ethnic slur. Insect experts across the nation agreed to change the name of a common invasive pest.
The Entomological Society of America announced that the "spongy moth" will be the new common name for the invasive insect that was previously known as "gypsy moth". The change comes as part of efforts to end the use of common insect species names that are derogatory, contain wrong geographic references, or that disregard what native communities call the insect.
Many scientific groups follow its lead in referring to insect species.
"Words matter, and what we call something matters. And by using the former name for Lymantria dispar, it really was very hurtful to the Romani people," says Chris Stelzig, the executive director of the organization.
The Romani people, or Roma, are Europe's largest ethnic minority and face discrimination. "Gypsy" is considered a pejorative term.
The ESA keeps a database of more than 2,000 common names for insects, along with their scientific names. They're constantly changing it, Stelzig says, but usually for scientific reasons. Often it's because "a new name is more descriptive of how they are actually in nature these days."
A request came in 2020 to change the name, and the ESA governing board made the final decision to remove the names in June. The group announced the change on Wednesday.
The name “spongy moth” was chosen because the egg masses look like rough-textured, brown sea sponges.
“The egg mass isn’t spongy like a kitchen sponge – it has that texture and coloration of a sea sponge,” Joanne Foreman, an invasive species communications coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, explained. “Except normally you wouldn’t find them in the ocean. You’re going to find them on tree trunks, your decks, your lawn furniture, etc.”
According to AWM:
The name change for the gypsy moth comes as society is re-examining racist language and symbols in light of the police killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have followed. Confederate monuments have been toppled, “Redskins” has been dropped as the name of Washington’s NFL team, and “Dixie” is no longer the name of a popular song at baseball games.
The name change is part of the organization's new initiative to take suggestions on common names that should be changed, to "help ensure that insect common names are respectful, inclusive, and descriptive of the insect," the ESA says.
Watch the video report below for more details: