Children’s Museum Petitions to Make Salt Creek Tiger Beetle the State Insect

Sept. 23, 2020, 6:02 p.m. ·

Scout, the animatronic Salt Creek tiger beetle poses by the "Bug Squad" exhibit at Omaha's Children's Museum. (Photo Courtesy Omaha's Children's Museum)

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Omaha Children’s Museum has started a petition to make the Salt Creek tiger beetle the Nebraska State insect. It would replace the honeybee, which is not native to the state. The petition will bring more awareness to the insect’s endangered status.

The museum was creating their new "Bug Squad" insect exhibit when they discovered the Salt Creek tiger beetle needed their help.

Lindy Hoyer is the executive director of the children’s museum. She said people need to know the Salt Creek tiger beetle, which is only found in Lancaster County, is in danger of extinction.

“If they leave our Salt Creek in Lancaster County, Nebraska, they're gone, they're gone for good," Hoyer said. "So creating the awareness helping us say, ‘Can we switch out from the honeybee to an insect that is unique to our state, and make this insect shine?”

The metallic brown to dark olive-green colored beetle helps keep saline marshes healthy. The bug was declared an endangered species in 2005. Hoyer said this is an opportunity to focus on something positive.

“It's also a way for young children to start learning about how they can use their voice and they can work to make changes in their world,” Hoyer said.

The museum wants to collect at least 100 signatures on their petition before sending it to state lawmakers.