State Symbols USA home page

Google

  SITEMAP  

  QUIZ  

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
USA (national)

Alaska State Insect

Four-spot skimmer dragonfly - click to see all insect symbols
Four-spot skimmer photo © Jean Francois: Odonates
(believed to be Creative Commons / attribution). See All State Insects.

Four-Spot Skimmer Dragonfly

See four-spot skimmer dragonfly video below

The four-spot skimmer dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata) was designated the official state insect of Alaska in1995.

The four-spot skimmer dragonfly won among 4 insects voted on by Alaskan schoolchildren. The runners up included the Unmarked slender mosquito, the mourning cloak butterfly, and the bumblebee.

Excerpt from Dragonfly Wins State Title; Mosquitoes Miffed by Ned Rozell:

"After an energetic campaign by students from the Auntie Mary Nicoli Elementary School in Aniak, the winner is the four-spot skimmer dragonfly. It mauled the mosquito. It battered the butterfly. And it bested the bumblebee in a tight contest to be the Last Frontier's official insect.

Dragonflies, also known in some parts as mosquito hawks, horse stingers and devil's darning needles, dart through the Alaskan air, tiny helicopters in search of mosquitoes and other prey. Actually, it's an insult to compare the flying ability of dragonflies with any man-made aircraft. Dragonflies can stop on a dime at 35 miles an hour, fly backward, and cut turns that are too abrupt for any human pilot to stomach."

Dragonflies live in many parts of North America around lakes, ponds, and slow-moving or still water. They eat mosquitos, midges and black flies. It has been jokingly said that the children voted for the dragonfly because they prey on Alaska's "unofficial state bird" (the mosquito), but state representative Irene Nicholia said it was because "The dragonfly's ability to hover and fly forward and backward reminds us of the skillful maneuvering of the bush pilots in Alaska."

Source:
Dragonfly Wins State Title; Mosquitoes Miffed: U of Alaska
Symbols of Alaska: Fairbanks Alaska Visitor Information
Links:
Dragonflies and Damselflies: Odonata Information Network
All State Insects


    

 

Alaska Symbols & Icons:

bird - flower
insect - fish
mammal - dog
marine mammal  
gemstone
mineral - fossil

flag - seal
motto - holidays
language - quarter
name - nickname
song - sport
tree - soil
 

Share |

Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West
Dragonflies & Damselflies of the West
5 star reviews

Four-Spot Skimmer Dragonfly Video

See more state insect videos

Alaska Gifts - Gifts by State

Google

What are your State Symbols?
State Symbols USA is a nonprofit organization promoting the conservation
and appreciation of our natural treasures and cultural heritage.