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Joint bulletin
Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) now called Flighted Spongy Moth Complex

On March 2, 2022 the Entomological Society of America formally announced that the common name for Lymantria dispar would now be "spongy moth" replacing the name "gypsy moth" which was considered derogatory. Other entomological societies followed suit and the common name spongy moth has become widely accepted.

Vessel certification programs established in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina regulate a complex of moths including 2 subspecies of Lymantria dispar (Lymantria dispar asiatica, and Lymantria dispar japonica) along with 3 other species of Lymantria (Lymantria albescens, Lymantria postalba and Lymantria umbrosa) and have referred to this complex by a single common name, Asian gypsy moth or AGM. The countries that use this common name for vessel certification programs have decided to change the common name for this complex. The moths of the AGM complex are characterized by female flight which differentiates them from Lymantria dispar dispar. The new common name, "flighted spongy moth complex" (FSMC), will be used to refer to the complex of moths formally known as AGM. The new name acknowledges the biological difference while maintaining the linkage to the new common name introduced by the Entomological Society of America for Lymantria dispar.

Future correspondence related to the vessel certification program will reference the new common name – flighted spongy moth complex or FSMC. Updates to web material to reflect the new common name will follow in the coming months.

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