The Black Swallowtail ButterflyCould Be Our First State Insect

Michigan is one of two states without a official state insect. This could change.  House Bill 4159 was introduced by Rep. Julie Brixie in 2016 that would make the black swallowtail butterfly (papilio polyxenes) our state insect.  It is common across North America 
and can be found in fields, parks, wetlands, and backyards. It is identified by its black three to four inch diameter wingspan with yellow blue, and orange markings. The pipetail swallowtail is quite similar with hind wings that are a vibrant blue.

The black swallowtail lives in Michigan full time and is the only species that can be found throughout the state. It overwinters here in Michigan with a chrysalis that resembles a dried brown leaf. It also is a pollinator that help grow many plants native to Michigan. When planting gardens, consider host plants; dill, parsley, Queen Anne lace, carrot celery, common rue, fennel, and others as a source of food for the caterpillars once the eggs hatch. Be sure to include sources of like the nectar of thistles, clover, phlox, asters, butterfly bush, chives, sweet william, purple coneflower, zinnias, milkweed and other nectar producingflowers for the adults to feed upon.

Currently in Lansing, the bill was voted on with a split approval, passing 67-42. The bill has not passed the Senate. In May Rep. 
Brenda Carter introduced House Bill 4590 to make the Monarch the state butterfly. The discussion continues. publicinterest

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