‘Murder hornets’ get a new name; now called northern giant hornets
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The hornets that were known as the "murder hornets" or "Asian giant hornets" now have a new name.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced on Monday that the Entomological Society of America has adopted "northern giant hornet" for the species Vespa mandarinia for its Common Names of Insects and Related Organisms List.
There has not been an official ESA name until now. The new official common name is intended to comply with ESA’s insect common names guidelines, which include avoiding naming insects using geographic regions.
Officials said WSDA will begin referring to the insect as the northern giant hornet going forward.
The invasive hornets are native to Asia and were first discovered in parts of Washington state and Canada in 2019.
Officials are continuing their efforts to eradicate them in the state.