Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Washingtonians, represent!

I’m flying off to Seattle this week…and did you know that my home state has the excellent good taste to have declared Anax junius the state insect? Just having a state insect is a great good step.


And in case you’ve forgotten, I’ll be speaking at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard Wednesday evening.


  1. marcoli says

    A great choice for a state insect! No doubt this was chosen because males have weird reproductive organs. Their testes are at the tip of the abdomen, but their penis is at the base. In order to mate, the male (which I think is the one on top in the picture) must first transfer sperm from its testes to its penis. So they sort of self-inseminate.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Nordic heritage museum? Axes, helmets and lots of mead, I hope.

    Someone should make a podium from skulls and it will be perfect.
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Arthropods good. Giant arthropods better. Build a transparent dome over Seattle so we can increase the air oxygen content and bring back Carboniferous-era-size dragonflies.

  3. Utakata says


    Sorry, someone was trying to reset my password for this account (wasn’t me). Is this something I should be worried about? Dumb question, perhaps. Then again, I never really had any internet security issue….so yeah, it’s a noob question in the very least.


    I like dragonflies.

  4. jacobvfox says

    I’d love to come down to Seattle to say hi and listen to your presentation; however given that I’ve lived further north in Bellingham for many years I now look down on Seattle’s absurd traffic mess and parking as extortion with the kind of contempt that only an insufferable small city full of old hippies could produce. Welcome back and please don’t tell anyone about the great views, low unemployment and blue skies!

  5. fastlane says

    I was planning on being there, but my wife’s having surgery wed morning, so won’t be going anywhere that evening.

  6. carlie says

    I thought it was so cool when I finally got a picture of dragonflies coupling, then I eventually realized that at the right time of year, that’s pretty much all they do. Then I had trouble getting a picture of them not doing it.

  7. azportsider says

    This might seem narrow-minded, but I’ve always felt that a state symbol should, you know, symbolize the state; that is, cause me to make a mental association between the symbol and the state it represents. Now, Anax junius is a fine insect, but it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to symbolizing any particular state, because it occurs commonly to abundantly in all of the lower forty-eight states. What is it about A. junius that would make me think specifically of Washington, instead of those other forty-seven?

    Lovely photograph of a pair caught in the act, though.

  8. Holms says

    Just having a state insect is a great good step.

    Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Why must there be a state insect? A state plant? An state goddamn mushroom? Bird, butterfly, drink, fish, flower, fruit, gemstone, grain, and tree? I’m pulling list of silly from minnesota by the way and – for fucks sake – there is even a state muffin.

    A state muffin. It’s blueberry!

    Some of these are quite reasonable I suppose, as they are things that are actually emblematic of that state – an official motto, song, flag colours for sports teams and such – while many are so weirdly specific. Why a state muffin (for fucks sake!) and not a state …bread? Hey why not a state mollusc huh? HUH?!? Mammal! Arboreal mammal! Arboreal mammal that preys primarily on insects and is diurnal and weighs less than 9.2kg and only shits on tuesdays…!

    Yeah so anyway, I’m really over these odd and pointless promotions of random shit to symbol status.

  9. jacobvfox says

    Apparently the banana slug is in the running along with the geoduck and the octopus for official Washington State Mollusk. I personally would opt for the geoduck and only because of how good they taste. And the big issue I have with banana slugs is their propensity to eat mushrooms that might otherwise end up in my kitchen.

  10. jakc says

    Washington should definitely have a state slug That’s what I think of it when I think of Washington