- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - It’s official: the American burying beetle is now Rhode Island’s state insect.

Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law Wednesday and also announced a beetle-drawing competition to celebrate the state’s newest symbol.

Third-graders at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport had advocated for naming the beetle the state insect to raise awareness of its need for protection.

The American burying beetle was declared endangered in 1989. The species can be found on Block Island and in a handful of western states.

Raimondo says she is looking forward to seeing the entries for the beetle-drawing competition.

She says she wants to see beetles drawn as true Rhode Islanders, sipping on a Del’s lemonade or hanging out on the beach.

The winning drawing will be displayed in the State House.

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