Cicindèle à six points

official insect
for Quebec

version française

Coccinelle maculée

Demoiselle bistrée


Bourdon fébrile



Why an official insect ?

Adopting an official insect for Québec will:

  • help people learn more about insects and, especially, better understand their importance;
  • highlight our entomological heritage. In Québec, there are an estimated 25,000 insect species;
  • contribute to protecting and conserving these little-known and misunderstood creatures;
  • teach people about wildlife habitats and the importance of conserving them to safeguard our insect heritage and biodiversity;
  • explain the essential roles of insects in ecosystems.


Did you know?

  • Québec will be the first Canadian province to have an official insect;
  • Québec’s other official natural emblems are the madonna lily, the snowy owl and the yellow birch;
  • once an insect has been chosen, it will be submitted to the National Assembly for official adoption as the provincial emblem, by decree;
  • 39 American states already have insect emblems (see table below).


Alabama Danaus plexippus (L.) Monarque Monarch
Alaska Libellula quadrimaculata (L.) Libellule quadrimaculé Fourspot Skimmer
Arkansas Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
California Zerene eurydice (Boisduval) ? California Dogface
Colorado Hypaurotis crysalus (W.H. Edwards) ? Colorado Hairstreak
Connecticut Mantis religiosa L. Mante religieuse European Mantid
Delaware Hippodamia convergens G.-M. Coccinelle convergente Convergent Lady Beetle
Florida Papilio cresphontes Cram. Grand porte-queue Giant Swallowtail
Georgia Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Georgia Danaus plexippus (L.) Monarque Monarch
Illinois Coccinellidae Coccinelle Lady Beetle
Iowa Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Kansas Limenitis archippus (Cram.) Vice-roi Viceroy
Kentucky Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Louisiana Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Maine Euphydryas phaeton (Drury) Baltimore Baltimore
Maryland Coccinellidae Coccinelle Lady Beetle
Massachusetts Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Mississippi Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Mississippi Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Missouri Coccinellidae Coccinelle Lady Beetle
Nebraska Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
New Hampshire Hemipepsis sp. Guêpe pepsis Tarantula Hawk Wasp
New Jersey Coccinella novemnotata Hbst. Coccinelle à neuf points Nine-spotted Lady Beetle
New Mexico Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
New York Coccinellidae Coccinelle Lady Beetle
North Carolina Papilio polyxenes asterius Stoll Papillon du céleri Black Swallowtail
Ohio Papilio oregonius W.H. Edwards ? Oregon Swallowtail
Ohio Lampyridae Luciole Firefly
Oklahoma Stagmomantis carolina (Johan.) ? Carolina Mantid
Oregon Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Pennsylvania Coccinellidae Coccinelle Lady Beetle
South Carolina Danaus plexippus (L.) Monarque Monarch
South Dakota Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Tennessee Danaus plexippus (L.) Monarque Monarch
Tennessee Papilio glaucus L. Papillon tigré Tiger Swallowtail
Texas Anax junius (Drury) ? Green Darner
Utah Apis mellifera L. Abeille domestique Honey Bee
Vermont Papilio rutulus Lucas ? Western Tiger Swallowtail
Virginia Papilio glaucus L. Papillon tigré Tiger Swallowtail
Washington Lampyridae Luciole Firefly
Wisconsin Papilio glaucus L. Papillon tigré Tiger Swallowtail
Wyoming Papilio troilus L. ? Spicebush Swallowtail

Adapted from M. Gary A. Dunn, director of the educative service of the Minibeast World of Insects and Spiders (Young Entomologist's Society)


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A citizen sent a letter to the Montréal Insectarium, explaining that he was surprised that many American states had already adopted official insects along with their other emblems. He suggested that Québec also select an entomological emblem.

The Insect Emblem Committee was founded. Selection criteria were drawn up and a preliminary list of insect candidates established.

Members of Québec entomological associations were consulted to gather their ideas and comments.

Five insect candidates were chosen as potential insect emblems for Québec.

David Cliche, Québec Minister of the Environment and Wildlife, lent his support to the campaign. A round table was set up to organize the vote.

Voting campaign: the exhibition "Why an Official Insect" opens at the Montréal Insectarium; educational material is distributed; the Internet site and the campaign are officially launched on April 30.



The mandate of the Insect Emblem Committee:

  • Determine selection criteria for the official insect.
  • Select candidates for the title of official insect.
  • Consult entomological associations in Québec.
  • Serve as a contact for dealings with government authorities, until the insect chosen is adopted by the National Assembly.


  • Jean-Pierre Bourassa, entomologist, professor and researcher at UQTR
  • Daniel Coderre, entomologist, professor and researcher at UQAM
  • Daniel Gagnon, botanist, professor and researcher at UQAM
  • Marjolaine Giroux, entomologist and educator at the Montréal Insectarium
  • Serge Laplante, entomologist, professor and researcher at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
  • Jacques Prescott, biologist with the Québec Department of the Environment and Wildlife


 Main menu | Results of the vote


 Selecting the candidates

Following consultations, selection criteria were drawn up for candidates for the title of official insect. A species that is: 

  • not an official insect of a U.S. state or another Canadian province;
  • relatively well distributed throughout Québec and present in most inhabited areas;
  • not named after a geographic location;
  • easily recognizable;
  • native to Québec, neartic (meaning that it is lives only in North America - in this case including northern Mexico and Greenland), and relatively abundant;
  • acknowledged as not being harmful to human activities;
  • aesthetically pleasing;
  • easy to observe.


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 The official insect T-shirt


Devant du T-shirt

Pick up one of the T-shirts for the Official Insect for Québec campaign, and you can tell the world which candidate you prefer, simply by checking off the appropriate box with an indelible marker! Selling T-shirts can be a good fund-raising tool for your school or group’s campaign activities.

devant et dos du T-shirt

The T-shirt comes in adult sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and extra extra large.

Available in white, for only $14.99 (+ taxes). There is a 10% discount on orders of 30 or more.


Order your T-shirt by telephone (credit-card orders only)

Delivery charge $3.50 (+ taxes)


visit the Montréal Insectarium gift shop
4581 Sherbrooke Street East
Montréal (Viau metro station).



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Why an official insect for Québec ?

"While insects may most often go unnoticed, their symbolic value far exceeds their size..."

Jacques de Tonnancour
Painter and insect enthusiast


Why an entomological emblem for Québec? Some people think we already have enough natural symbols, while others cringe at the thought of associating themselves with something as contemptible as an insect.

We all have our reasons for disliking insects, of course. There they are, wherever we go, buzzing, chirping, swarming and stinging... What pests! It’s no wonder that we’re afraid of them and stamp on them without thinking. We tolerate useful insects, it’s true, but we would prefer to have as little as possible to do with the thousands of others. We keep hoping that one day all these bugs will stop bothering us—that they will simply disappear!

If this is how you feel about insects, how are you to go about selecting one to symbolize our characteristics, hopes and dreams? First of all, you have to know more about the world of insects. The Official Insect for Québec campaign will give you a chance to vote for the insect of your choice. But to make an enlightened decision, you must take the time to discover the ecological, economic, recreational and cultural benefits we derive from insects. And that’s why you’ll want to visit the Why an Official Insect for Québec? exhibition.

The whole point of the exhibition, of course, is to answer the question asked in its title. It looks at insects from a number of different viewpoints:

  • the importance of Québec’s entomological heritage and the threats to insects’ survival;
  • the essential roles that insects play in maintaining a balance in our ecosystems;
  • the close links between insects, humans and our habitats;
  • insect ecology, and particularly that of the five candidates vying for the title of Québec’s official insect.

In short, the exhibition makes visitors aware of the important part played in our day-to-day world by living beings that we too often consider harmful and undesirable. The "election campaign" approach is designed to encourage all visitors to participate. Come and cast your vote! Why an Official Insect for Québec?, with its images, exhibits, games and detailed profiles of the candidates, is the best place to find all the information you need to decide on your favourite.

This 50 m2 exhibition, produced jointly by the Montréal Insectarium and the Musée du Séminaire de Sherbrooke, will be running at the Insectarium from April 30 to December 6, 1998.

Once the people have spoken and Québec’s official insect has been chosen, the exhibition will travel around the entire province to introduce everyone to the winner. For information on renting the exhibition, please call (514) 872-7097.


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Partners of the project


logos des partenaires

Other Web sites

logo Franc VertArticle Qui portera le titre d'insecte emblème?


This web site is hosted by the
ÉcoRoute de l'information

logo Écoroute

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  WEB site designed by: Stéphan Giroux
Texts and photographs: Insectarium de Montréal Illustrations: Bruno Laporte
This project has received financial support from the Action-Environnement et Faune program