Changing of Lymantria dispar name

The Don’t Move Firewood outreach and education materials have included Lymantria dispar* as a pest commonly moved via the firewood pathway since the campaign was launched in 2008. With the summer 2021 announcement of the removal of the old common name from the approved common names list held by the Entomological Society of America (ESA), we acknowledge that all our materials covering this species must be changed. Our outreach staff are working closely with the ESA to select and rapidly roll out a new and better common name.

  • To facilitate an organized approach to this name change, the staff of Don’t Move Firewood have created a Don’t Move Firewood specific Lymantria dispar Name Change Implementation Plan in advance of the new name’s formal announcement. This plan may be updated after the ESA announcement to reflect any important changes or key dates.
  • For more information on the overall name change process, please visit the ESA’s Better Common Names Project page.

*a new common name for Lymantria dispar, spongy moth, is slated to replace the prior name of this insect, gypsy moth, in spring 2022. This change was necessary because the word “gypsy” is an ethnic slur.

NOTE: This post has been edited to reflect new information. It was initially posted in October 2021, and has been updated in January and February 2022.