Is the Naming of Species Due for a Change?

1. Provides an opportunity for reflection and discussion on the ethical aspects of species naming.
2. Allows for a reevaluation of the criteria and values behind the choice of names for new species.
3. Helps raise awareness about the potential impact of naming on historical, cultural, and political sensitivities.
4. Encourages scientists to adopt more inclusive, respectful, and meaningful names for new species.
5. Offers a chance to rectify past instances of offensive or inappropriate species names.

1. Changing established names may lead to confusion and difficulties in scientific communication.
2. The subjectivity of what constitutes an offensive or inappropriate name may lead to debates and disagreements.
3. May require significant time and effort to review and modify existing species names.
4. Changing names could overshadow the scientific significance of the species itself.
5. The process of renaming species could create a precedent for arbitrary alterations in the future.


In 1937, a peculiar brown beetle was discovered in Slovenian caves. What made this new species stand out was its lack of eyes. Its finder, intrigued by this unique trait, chose to name it Anophthalmus hitleri in honor of Adolf Hitler. However, the naming stirred controversy.