|Nothing says 'American work ethic' like Apis mellifera. It's from Europe.|
The answer is: just about anything could. Both of these species are natives to Europe (incidentally, so are polka-dots). They are as American as mushy peas and red phone booths. So if we are so keen on giving king George III the heave-ho, why did we then go and pick European insects to represent our states?
States that designate the "European Honeybee" as their state insect:
With 91,000 named insect species in the United States, I think we could probably find one cool enough without having to borrow from another continent. Maybe we just miss being colonies. What do you think?
Thanks to this discussion over at the Entomological Society of Canada blog for reminding me about this entomological pet peeve of mine.