Ladybirds have been forced to rebrand themselves following a series of complaints that their name is ‘sexist’.
The popular red and black beetles have announced they will be known as Extra Spotty Insects when they re-emerge next springtime.
“We have taken this important step in light of a number of complaints on Twitter,” a spokesperson for the coccinellid family announced.
“One man got in contact with a heartbreaking tale. His tearful four-year-old son believed that, because of our name, only girls would be allowed to playfully roll our species across the backs of their hands in summertime wonderment before eventually giving in to temptation and crushing us to death between their fingers.
“Messages like that have forced us to re-evaluate our brand and we sincerely apologise for our long-established name, which didn’t seem to bother the complainants for the first 30-odd years of their lives one bit.
“We are delighted that people have taken to social media in their droves to point out how offensive it would be if an insect was called a Geezerbloke, and as such, we acknowledge the significant historical mistake in calling ourselves ladybirds.
The news has been greeted favourably by those who were enraged, especially Bert Snodgrass who kickstarted the campaign on Twitter.
“I feel great, so proud,” he said. “I’ve never had 37 likes for any tweet before. This must be what Ghandi and that Mandela bloke felt like when they also affected similarly monumental societal change.
“I won’t rest until all gender-specific names are eradicated. So look out Hebrews, sheep, mandarins and herpes.”