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State Insects, Exhibits and other Fun Facts

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Each state contains one or all of the following;
1. The history behind the name of the state.
2. The state insect.
3. Insect Museums or Butterfly Gardens.

A note on state insects:

Several states have passed bills officially making specific insects their state insect. Still, many states do not have state insects. This portion of the BugNet-MAP website is to help everyone learn something about their state insect. It will also provide information about who was responsible in that state for starting the process and how that insect was selected to represent the state. For those states not having a state insect, this website may encourage the process to begin.

For those states not having a state insect, it is hoped that the selection of a state insect would have some of the following components:

1. Some logical basis for making the selection. This could be based on the economics of the arthropod to the state.
2. The genus and species of the arthropod selected.
3. Some involvement of students in the overall process.
4. Once selected, the addition of that information to existing maps, signs, etc. of the state.
5. The origin of the name for the state and what it means.

A national initiative was started to make the monarch butterfly the national insect but it never was seen to completion. A new initiative may be needed. This would be an excellent project for some interested class or school to pursue.

For more on state insects read:
Berenbaum, May. 1993. Politically Correct Insects. American Entomologist, 39
(2): 68-69. Gunder, J.D. 1929. A state butterfly for California. Pan-Pac. Entomol. 6:88-90. Sutherland, D.W.S. March 1992. Monarch campaign gains momentum. ESA Newsletter, 15
(3): 1. von Blocker, Jr. 1976. California was first! Insect World Digest 3: 17.

Please contribute to this database by supplying us with any information you might have.

Table of Sources
Webpage of Dr. Michael R. Williams
Entomology and Plant Pathology
Box 9775
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775
http://www.lilesnet.com/lilesnet/betcha.html
http://www.iastate.edu/List/complete.html

Kest, Kristin and Robert Michael Pyle. Peterson Field Guide Coloring Books: Insects. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston:1993.

 


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