Murder hornets. The name has stuck fear among the citizens of the Northwest for the last two years. LOL Now that fear might all change because of a sudden strange reason.

If you were sitting across from me, you would see the big smile on my face as a I say "murder hornets." The name is scary, and it has worked because most people in the Northwest have heard of murder hornets. Just try to find someone you know that has actually seen one in person. Now the hornets, also referred to as Vespa Mandarina, have now been given a new name and I wonder if the fear remains.

Because the hornets have been found in the northwest for multiple years now, the Entomological Society of America has added it to the common species name list under "northern giant hornet." They say on their website that:

"The Entomological Society of America has established "northern giant hornet" as the official common name for Vespa mandarinia - previously known in the United States as Asian giant hornet or murder hornet. We will be updating our webpages and publications in the comming weeks to reflect this change."

Other agencies like the Washington Department of Ecology have also accepted the new name. They released a statement that they will follow the ESA's recommendation and update all materials about the hornet to reflect the new name. They also went on to say they will follow the same name change recommendations for other variants of the hornet.

"ESA also adopted Dr. Looney’s proposals for “southern giant hornet” as the common name for the species Vespa soror and “yellow-legged hornet” for Vespa velutina. Vespa soror is a closely related—and similarly large—species to V. mandarinia, and the descriptors “northern” and “southern” refer to the species’ native geographic ranges in Asia."

Does this mean they think the hornet is here to stay? Are the people of the northwest going to watch for these insects as urgently because their new name is less intimidating? Only time will tell, but I just hope I stay far enough away from them to NOT get stung.

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