Say’s Firefly set to become official state insect thanks to students’ efforts

Say's Firefly

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Fifth-grade students in Lafayette who pushed for the Say’s Firefly to become the official state insect saw their hard work pay off Tuesday.

Students from Cumberland and Happy Hollow Elementary Schools have researched, developed and persistently lobbied for Senate Bill 236. This year, Gov. Eric Holcomb took on their cause and made it part of his legislative agenda.

The insect was named by entomologist Thomas Say in 1826 while he lived in the southwestern Indiana town of New Harmony. The students argued that the lightning bug best represents Indiana because of its agricultural benefits and place in American history.

Gov. Holcomb issued this statement upon the bill’s passage:

“I know this bill bugged some of my legislative friends, but the truth is it’s a big deal to young students around the state who have reached out to us in support—particularly students from Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette. They’ve shown incredible perseverance and have advocated for the Say’s Firefly to be the official state insect for several years. Beyond the satisfaction these kids will feel when they look out on a hot Indiana summer night and see the state insect flashing away, the real beauty of this bill is the civic engagement it inspired in our youngest citizens. It’s taught them a great deal about how our lawmaking process works—and that if they are engaged, they can make a real difference.”

The bill passed the House 93-3 Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Holcomb’s desk for a signature.