“Spongy moth”: the new name for invasive gypsy moths
Matache was one of many Roma scholars consulted during the name removal process.
“This process to rename butterfly G can be a really effective practice on how to create better common names and ensure meaningful and fair participation of affected communities in the process,” Matache said via email.
Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, the gypsy moth is an invasive pest of North American forests, destroying the leaves of hundreds of species of trees and shrubs and costing hundreds of dollars each year. millions of dollars in damage and management efforts, according to the Entomological Society. from America. This butterfly spends most of its 10-month life in the egg stage, which is when it moves en masse on firewood, outdoor equipment, and vehicles.
“We are grateful to the diverse community of people and organizations who have been involved in this renaming process and have also committed to embracing the ‘squishy butterfly,’” Ware added.
The butterfly’s new name was chosen from more than 200 nominations evaluated by a panel of more than 50 scientists convened by the society. The group sought input from numerous experts and organizations and garnered over 1,000 responses out of seven names of finalists. “Spongy moth” refers to its sponge-like egg masses and comes from the common name “spongieuse,” used for the insect in France and French-speaking Canada, according to the press release.
“The ‘gypsy moth’ is already starting to show up in media articles and other online resources, which we’re excited to see,” Ware said. “But we know this name change won’t happen overnight.”
“In books or printed products, or in regulations related to L. disphar, phasing in of the new name may take some time,” she added. “ESA will continue to provide support resources to organizations embracing this change.”
The prejudice has “deeply harmed the lives of American Roma and the global Roma diaspora,” Matache said in an email. “Changing the name of this insect is highly relevant to rectifying traditional white narratives about Roma. I hope the decision to drop the G-word will be followed by others who also need to change the names of businesses, events, websites, fashion collections, cakes, food, drinks, and college runways that include the G-word.”
CNN’s Neelam Bohra and Radhika Marya contributed to this story.