10 Delaware State Symbols
Wildlife Animal - Gray Fox
Adopted June 10, 2010Indigenous to Delaware, the gray fox is a primitive species, believed to be between 7 and 10 million years old. Capable of running up to 28 miles per hour, it is a swift and powerful animal.
Bird - Blue Hen
Adopted on April 14, 1939While blue hens are not an officially recognized breed, Delaware’s state birds are bred and named for the steel-blue coloring of their feathers. The history of Delaware's state bird starts during the Revolutionary War, when a company of soldiers from Delaware known for their courage acquired the nickname of "The Blue Hen's Chickens" or "Sons of the Blue Hen." Today, The Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens are the athletic teams of the University of Delaware of Newark.
Butterfly - Tiger Swallowtail
Adopted on June 10, 1999This large, yellow, and black-striped butterfly is indigenous to Delaware and can be seen in deciduous woods, along streams, rivers, and wooded swamps, and in towns and cities throughout Delaware.
Flower - Peach Blossom
Adopted May 9, 1895At the time the peach blossom was designated as the state’s official flower, Delaware's orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars, earning the state its reputation as the "Peach State.”
Fish - Weakfish
Adopted 1981Recognized for its recreational and economic contributions to the state of Delaware and its value as a game and food fish, Delaware’s state fish the weakfish can grow to 3 feet in length and weigh over 19 pounds. You might also know the weakfish by some of its other names - spotted sea trout, gray trout, yellow mouth, yellow fin trout, squeteague, and tiderunner.
Marine mammal - Horseshoe Crab
Adopted June 25, 2002The blood of these invertebrates – which contains a protein called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) - provides a valuable medical product critical to maintaining the safety of many drugs and devices used in medical care and is used by pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to test their products for the presence of endotoxins.
Delaware is home to more horseshoe crabs than any other place in the world. Each spring, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs leave the depths to spawn on Delaware Bay beaches, with The Mispillion Harbor being a prime location to view these prehistoric creatures as they gather.
Tree - American Holly
Adopted May 1, 1939Often called Christmas holly or evergreen holly, the tree has dark, thorny-leaved foliage and red berries. In Delaware, the tree can reach a maximum of 60 feet in height and a trunk diameter of 20 inches. The American holly was named Delaware’s official tree when the state was the leading exporter of holly Christmas wreaths.
Bug - Lady Bug
Adopted April 25, 1974Chosen as Delaware’s state bug by a class of 2nd graders, the 7-spot ladybug first appears in the spring, often between March and April, looking for food. Every spring, the first ladybug you see could aid scientists in tracking how climate change is affecting biodiversity.
Dessert - Peach Pie
Adopted July 30, 2009Peach farming is an important part of Delaware’s agricultural heritage; at its peak, shipping 6 million baskets to market in 1875.
Fruit – Strawberry