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Scientists have changed the name of bugs known as “Asian giant hornets” to “northern giant hornet” to prevent anti-Asian hate crimes.
In a press release, The Entomological Society of American said they feared the stigma attached to the hornet's scientific name could lead to violence.
“Amid a rise in hate crimes and discrimination against people of Asian descent, usage of ‘Asian’ in the name of a pest insect can unintentionally bolster anti-Asian sentiment,” it said.
The bugs entered the US in 2019. They are colloquially called "murder hornets" and grow up to two inches long.
“Common names are an important tool for entomologists to communicate with the public about insects and insect science,” the group’s president Jessica Ware added. “Northern giant hornet is both scientifically accurate and easy to understand, and it avoids evoking fear or discrimination.”