LANSING — Today, State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) introduced House Bill 4467 to designate the monarch butterfly as the official insect of Michigan. Currently Michigan does not have a designated state butterfly or insect. Monarch butterflies are one of many crucial pollinators that help to cross-fertilize many plants, a process that is vital to the success of the state’s agriculture and tourism industries.

“I’m sure we all have memories of seeing and learning about monarchs as children,” Carter said. “While they are beautiful, their role to our state, environment and economy goes much deeper than their beauty. By recognizing these beautiful little creatures, we can be more conscious of their function and contribution to our state.”

Butterflies and moths are a highly diverse group of insects with more than 250,000 species, comprising around one-quarter of all named species. They are also bio-indicators of a healthy environment and ecosystem. Due to their aesthetic beauty, people travel each year looking for different butterflies and moths including eco-tours to track Monarch migration from Michigan to Mexico in the fall and back again in the spring.