Want to learn more about your state symbols? Click to begin
SAGUARO BLOSSOM I was our first symbol, selected in 1901 when Arizona was a territory. Three inches wide, I can only be seen in May and June. I am our state flower.
What do you think? Why does this flower bloom at night and close the next day? What animals might use pollen and nectar from this flower? What does the flower get in return? Why might this flower be large and grow in clusters?
CACTUS WREN The legislature chose me in 1931. I eat insects and cactus fruit. I like to sing cha-cha-cha. I am our state bird.
What do you think? Why is it called the cactus wren? How can the cactus wren survive without drinking water? Why do cactus wrens choose cholla cactus or thorny trees for nest locations? What makes a cactus wrens nest unusual?
PALO VERDE The legislature chose me in 1954. I am usually green. I produce yellow flowers. I am our state tree.
What do you think? Why are the bark and branches of this tree green? Why are the leaves and flowers so small? What do this tree and the saguaro have in common? How has the palo verde adapted to the lack of water in the desert?
ARIZONA TREEFROG Schoolchildren selected me in 1985. I am an excellent climber. I am usually green. I am our state amphibian.
What do you think? What adaptations help the Arizona treefrog survive? What does it mean to be insectivorous? What is the purpose of the males vocalization? In what part of our state would you find the Arizona treefrog?
APACHE TROUT Schoolchildren selected me in 1985. I am sometimes called a yellow belly. By 1970 I was nearly extinct. I am our state fish.
What do you think? Why do you think this species nearly became extinct? How have humans helped this species to recover? In what part(s) of Arizona would you find this species?
ARIZONA RIDGENOSED RATTLESNAKE Schoolchildren selected me in 1985. I prefer to live in rock crevices. I have an upturned nose. I am our state reptile.
What do you think? Why does it have a rattle? How does this rattlesnake fit into the cycle of life in our desert? This is a protected species. What does that mean?
RINGTAIL Schoolchildren selected me in 1985. Sometimes called a miners cat, I am not really a cat. I am our state mammal.
What do you think? Why do some people call the ringtail a miners cat or ringtail cat? How is it different from a cat? How has the ringtail adapted to its habitat? Why might the ringtail have such a long tail?
TWO-TAILED SWALLOWTAIL Arizona residents and the state legislature chose me in 2001. I am bright yellow and have two tails. I am our state butterfly.
What do you think? Does this butterfly really have two tails? How many different species of swallowtail butterflies live in Arizona? Of all the butterflies in Arizona, why was this selected as the state butterfly?
Explore More! The following activities will allow you to understand how our living state symbols relate to the worlds of science, art and government: In Seal of Approval you will explore some other Arizona symbols as you try to design your own seal for the state. Become a Wildlife Detective as you develop a research project to study our state symbols in the natural world. In Legislative, you will use the state symbols to study how laws are made in Arizona. Elect a Class Symbol models the process of an election. To download these activities, click here.
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