Thanks to efforts by the Your Wild Life team and the large numbers of citizen-scientists who suggested names and voted, one of North America’s most common ant species now has an officially recognized common name. Forelius pruinosus, a fast thermophilic species most often seen in the heat of midday, is now known in plain English as the “High Noon Ant”:
Entomologists take insect names (both common and scientific) pretty seriously, and we wanted to respect the official naming process. So on May 10, we officially submitted our common name proposal to the Entomological Society of America (ESA) Committee on the Common Names of Insects.
First, the Common Names Committee had to give “high noon ant” the thumbs up. They did on July 15. Then, the full membership of the Entomological Society of America had to have an opportunity to weigh in during a 30-day comment period. No objections were raised so it went on to the ESA Governing Board. Yesterday, we learned the Board gave the high noon ant the OFFICIAL stamp-of-approval at their meeting on November 9, and the name was posted in the common names database on November 19.
So go ahead. Check out the common names database yourself, type in “high noon ant,” and take pride in the fact that you helped make this happen!
The announcement graphic is by Seth Burgess.
* update: We’ve just received this photograph of Forelius celebrating: