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Competing bills would give Michigan an official state butterfly

"12 Days of Christmas Butterflies - #10 Black Swallowtail" by Vicki's Nature is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

State lawmakers are resuming a long-running debate over which insect should serve as Michigan's official state butterfly.

Michigan is one of two states that has not designated an official state insect. Legislators have been conflicted for several previous sessions over which species of butterfly should be selected to represent the state.

Democratic Representative Julie Brixie is the sponsor of a bill that would designate the black swallowtail as Michigan's state butterfly. She says her constituents lobbied her to select it because it can be found in all 83 of the state's counties.

"The black swallowtail is a full-time resident of Michigan, and it never leaves for warmer climates. It doesn't migrate," she says.

A competing proposal would tap the monarch butterfly to represent the state.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.