Minnesota State Insect
Minnesota adopted the lovely monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state butterfly in 2000. The monarch was promoted by a fourth-grade class at Anderson Elementary School in Mahtomedi, MN. Minnesota State Insect
Monarch caterpillars appear to feed exclusively on milkweed, which grows throughout Minnesota. Both caterpillar and butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning because the toxins ingested from the milkweed plant are poisonous to predators. The male butterfly has small black dots on its lower wings, females do not.
Quote from Representative Harry Mares (who co-sponsored the bill with Senator Chuck Wiger): “A lot of people have an early introduction to the magical world of nature through the monarch, and as we get older it becomes a thread that takes us through science to beauty and aesthetics.”