Legislature selects Vivid Dancer Damselfly as state insect

Thanks to the fourth- graders at Beatty Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada has the beautiful Vivid Dancer Damselfly as its official state insect, not the ugly “mosquito” or “barfly” that state legislators humorously suggested.

In 2009, the strikingly blue damselfly was picked by the Legislature as the state insect after it won preliminary approval from educators who reviewed 70 nominations and essays sent in by 57 fourth-grade classes.

Three pupils from Beatty Elementary School showed up at the Legislature to argue their choice. Nevada had been one of nine states without an official insect. The Vivid Dancer Damselfly, or Argia vivida, is similar to a large dragonfly, and belongs to the family Coenagrionidae of the order Odonata. It’s a small flying insect that preys upon mosquitos, flies and other pests that can be found throughout the state. Males are a dark blue, while females are a boring tan.Sorry ladies, it’s the pretty male that the state uses on its list of emblems. Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, has suggested the mosquito as the state insect, saying he had been bitten by them all across the state. Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, jokingly wanted the “barfly” or the “lobbyist.” No other state has the damselfly as its insect.

The most common state insects are the Monarch Butterfly, the bumble bee and the ladybug.