When most people think of insects, they think of creepy-crawly little bugs and get grossed out. To be fair, with some insects, freaking out is justified. Did you know about Montana's official state insect? If not, let us tell you about it.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillar
YouTube / Papa Ray's Adventure Channel

According to insectidntification.org, Montana is home to an estimated 724 types of insects. The list includes ants, bees, and mosquitos, just to name a few. To put it simply, there are a lot of bugs in the state.

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Most people have a general fear of insects, but if you take the time to observe some of them, you'll find that many are incredibly beautiful. That's the case with Montana's state insect.

What is Montana's State Insect?

If you don't know the answer, don't feel too bad. It's not something that most people talk about. Before the big reveal, here are a few reasons why Montana is so special.

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The official state insect in Montana is the Mourning Cloak Butterfly, which was designated in 2001. Here's a description from owlcation.com.

Montana's state insect belongs to a group of butterflies that are distributed around the world, primarily in nearctic zones, meaning temperate regions well north of the equator. Known generally as angle-wings, they often have "ragged" wing-margins and plain, camouflages undersides. They belong to the family Nymphalidae. Within that huge group, the mourning cloak belongs to the genus Nymphalis. This is something like your last name -- it shows you belong to a closely related group, but within that group are individual species. The mourning cloak's species name is antiopa. Therefore the insect's scientific name is Nymphalis antopa.


Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Photo by Erik Karits on Unsplash

If you ever see one up close, pay attention to how beautiful the patterns on the wings are.

Now, all of your friends will think you're smart when you tell them how much you know about the Mourning Cloak Butterfly.

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