No more ‘gummy’, the insect has a new name | WJMN

(WFRV) – In an attempt to stop using a name that some considered derogatory, the “gypsy moth” is no more and authorities have determined a new name for the insect.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) has announced that the new name has been chosen for the moth species. Lymantria dispar. It was voted unanimously to approve the addition of “spongy moth” to the ESA list of common names of insects and related organisms.

This ends a process that would have started in July 2021. “Gypsy moth” was removed from the list because authorities determined it was a derogatory term for Roma people.

Now that the “spongy butterfly” is added to the list, it will now be used in articles, scientific journals, presentations, posters, websites, social media and public policy documents.

Lymantria dispar is a noxious pest in North American forests, and public awareness is key to slowing its spread. ‘Spongy moth’ gives entomologists and foresters a name for this species that reinforces an important feature of butterfly biology and moves away from the outdated term that was previously used,” said ESA President Jessica Ware. Ph.D.

The name “spongy butterfly” was recommended by a group of more than 50 scientists and professionals working in the field of forest research or management. The name refers to the sponge-like egg masses of the moth.