Did You Know?

1. The State Bug of Delaware is the Lady Bug – This became so on April 25, 1974 due to an intense effort by Mrs. Mollie Brown-Rust’s second grade class at Lulu M. Ross Elementary School in Milford, Delaware. Ladybugs are great allies to gardeners, since they are a natural predator to crop-damaging aphids.

2. The State Butterfly is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – This butterfly was adopted on June 10, 1999.This large yellow and black-striped beauty is indigenous to Delaware. Out of a possible three choices selected by Richardson Park Learning Center, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail won by a vote of 1,611 out of 3,175 students.

3. The State Wildlife Animal is the Grey Fox – The Grey Fox was adopted June 10, 2010. This swift and powerful creature is the only American canine that can climb trees, and can also run up to 28mph.

4. The State Mineral is Sillimanite – Sillimanite was officially named the State Mineral in 1977 as suggested by the Delaware Mineralogical Society. This polymorph mineral is often fibrous, and comes in many colors ranging from clear to gray-white, yellowish, brownish and bluish. Sillimanite is formed in higher temperature/ higher pressure environments.

5. Henry Heimlich – The man responsible for the Heimlich maneuver was born in Wilmington, DE on February 3, 1920. Heimlich first wrote about the maneuver in a June 1974 informal article published in Emergency Medicine. In 1974, there was a report that a retired restaurant-owner used it to rescue a choking person.

6. The State Star is Delaware Diamond – Delaware Diamond is a star of the 12th magnitude that can be seen with binoculars or a telescope. Located in the constellation of Ursa Major (Great Bear) with the coordinates of right ascension 9h40m44s and declination 48⁰14’2”. Twelve-year-old Amy Nerlinger of Wilmington named the star through a contest sponsored by the Delaware Museum of Natural History in the summer of 1999. Delaware Diamond is the first star on the International Star Registry to be registered to a state.

7. The State Macroinvertebrate is the Stonefly – Adopted in May, 2005, the Stonefly was chosen due to its intolerance to any sort of water pollution. This Macroinvertebrate was chosen because its presence around the state represents Delaware’s remarkable water quality.

8. The State Shell is the Channeled Whelk – The Channeled Whelk was adopted as the state shell in May of 2014. After reading a book of Delaware state symbols, 6th Grade Girl Scout Allyson Willis, noticed that Delaware did not have a state shell while many other states with fewer beaches did. This realization prompted her to contact her state legislators and it was officially signed by Gov. Jack Markell. The channeled Whelk is one of only two predatory sea snails found near central and lower Delaware, and the typical shell size can grow up to 5-8 inches long.

9. Lowest Average Elevation – While there are states that beat Delaware on the lowest low point or lowest high point, its overall mean elevation is the lowest in the country with an average of 60ft above sea level. Delaware’s highest point reaches 450ft and its lowest point is Sea Level.

10. Fewest Counties – Delaware has the fewest number of counties in the country totaling only three – Kent County, New Castle County, and Sussex County. Sussex County was established in 1631 and is the largest of the three at 938 sq. miles. Since the city of Lewes was the first town in Delaware, it holds the title of the first town in the first state, and also makes Sussex County the birthplace of modern day Delaware.