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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The gypsy moth is getting a new name.

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The fluttering insect will be renamed by the Entomological Society of America, along with the gypsy ant, the organization said in a news release on July 7.

The name changes coincide with the launch of the organization’s Better Common Names Project. Though the change is specific to the society and its publications, it is expected to catch on worldwide, The Washington Post reported.

“The purpose of common names is to make communication easier between scientists and the public audiences they serve,” ESA President Michelle S. Smith said in a statement. “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.

“That’s why we’re working to ensure all ESA-approved insect common names meet our standards for diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

In June, the ESA’s governing board elected to remove the common names for both species from the organization’s common names of insects and related organisms list, according to the news release.

The ESA plans to consult a volunteer group to rename the moth and ant, CNN reported. They will go by their respective Latin names, Lymantria dispar and Aphaenogaster araneoides, until new common names are chosen.

The invasive species of moth becomes destructive as caterpillars, the Post reported.

The Romani people, enslaved in Romania for more than 500 years, are sometimes referred to as “gypsies,” the newspaper reported.

“Roma are dehumanized in so many ways: being associated with insects, being associated with animals,” Margareta Matache, director of the Roma Program at Harvard University’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. told the Post. “And that is really how structural anti-Roma racism is justified.”

Matache said the word “gypsy” has its origins in England, when that country’s people erroneously thought Roma were Egyptians, the Post reported.

The word “gypsy” comes from England, Matache said, at a time when the English mistakenly thought Roma were Egyptians. In a 2020 study that Matache helped conduct, 35% of Romani Americans surveyed said they consider “gypsy” a racial slur.

Matache called the decision to rename the insects a “historic step.”

“We are a people, and we want others around us to see our humanity, our culture and our history,” Matache told the Post.