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Murder Hornets Are Rebranding With A Less Offensive New Name

Murder Hornets Are Rebranding With A Less Offensive New Name

They're switching it up.

'Murder hornets' are having a rebrand in a bid to move away from their offensive name.

Also known as the Asian giant hornet, the Entomological Society of America and the Entomological Society of Canada have decided to give the hornets a new name, explaining that "the usage of 'Asian' in the name of a pest insect can unintentionally bolster anti-Asian sentiment amid a rise in hate crimes and discrimination against people of Asian descent."

The name has been changed to the northern giant hornet, which is now listed in the Common Names of Insects database.

'Murder hornets' are having a rebranding in a bid to move away from their offensive name.

Speaking about the change, ESA president Jessica Ware said: "I don't want my Asian American or Pacific Islander colleagues, friends and family to have any negative connotations with invasive or pest species that might be used against them in a negative way."

Ware added: "Common names are an important tool for entomologists to communicate with the public about insects and insect science.

"Northern giant hornet is both scientifically accurate and easy to understand, and it avoids evoking fear or discrimination."

Added to this, the ESA explains that since all wasps are native to Asia, the previous name is not useful in providing information.

The name has now been changed to the northern giant hornet.

Northern giant hornets can be particularly harmful to agriculture, health and honeybees. The giant wasps have an excruciatingly painful sting, with LiveScience reporting that they can even kill humans.

They are a major threat to bees, however, with the hornets able to take out as many as 30,000 bees in one attack.

The hornets can generally grow up to around two inches - or the length of a human thumb.

"If allowed to establish in regions within North America, the northern giant hornet could significantly impact local ecosystems," the ESA explains.

"Northern giant hornets generally do not attack people, but will do so if provoked or threatened.

"Their stinger is longer than that of bees and wasps found in North America, and their venom is more toxic."

They are particularly harmful to honeybees.

Ware added: "Even though the northern giant hornet has some negative things about it, like all of the 1.5 million insect species out there, it's got a complicated life.

"Some parts of its life history and ecology are really fascinating. It's been around for over millions of years before humans even came on the scene."

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Featured Image Credit: Phil Degginger/ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Animals