The House of Delegates on Monday threw its support behind a bill that would add the red salamander to the list of Virginia’s office emblems and designations.
The bill to name an official state salamander was introduced by Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41), of Springfield at the request of the Salamander Savers 4-H Club in Fairfax. Club members hope to raise awareness of salamanders as a species less tolerant of environmental disruptions than frogs and other amphibians. The House backed their effort on a 96-1 vote, with Del. Barry Knight (R-81), of Virginia Beach, opposed.
According to the Virginia Herpetological Society, there are 29 salamanders native to the commonwealth, including two red species, the Blue Ridge red salamander and the northern red salamander. While the northern red can be found in Loudoun, the northern two-lined salamander and the northern dusky salamander are among the most common here.
The bill has moved to the state senate for review.
What other species, places and things have been tapped by Virginia’s government for special recognition? Here is the full list:
- Artisan Center: Virginia Artisans Center in Waynesboro.
- Bat: Virginia Big-eared bat.
- Beverage: Milk.
- Bird: Northern Cardinal.
- Blue Ridge Folklore State Center: Blue Ridge Institute in the Ferrum.
- Boat: The Chesapeake Bay Deadrise.
- Cabin Capital of Virginia: Page County.
- Coal Miners’ Memorial: Richlands Coal Miners’ Memorial in Tazewell County.
- Covered Bridge Capital of the Commonwealth: Patrick County.
- Covered Bridge Festival: Virginia Covered Bridge Festival in Patrick County.
- Dog: American Foxhound.
- Fish (Freshwater): Brook Trout.
- Fish (Saltwater): Striped Bass.
- Fleet: Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, which brought the first permanent English settlers to Jamestown in 1607.
- Flower: American Dogwood.
- Folk dance: Square dancing.
- Fossil: Chesapecten jeffersonius.
- Gold mining interpretive center: Monroe Park in Fauquier County.
- Insect: Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly.
- Maple Festival: The Highland County Maple Festival.
- Motor sports museum: Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Virginia Motor Sports Hall of Fame in Patrick County.
- Outdoor drama: The Trail of the Lonesome Pine outdoor drama, performed in Big Stone Gap.
- Outdoor drama, historical: The Long Way Home, performed in Radford.
- Rock: Nelsonite.
- Shakespeare festival: The Virginia Shakespeare Festival in the Williamsburg.
- Shell: Oyster shell.
- Snake: Eastern Garter Snake.
- Song emeritus: Carry Me Back to Old Virginny by James A. Bland.
- Song (Popular): Sweet Virginia Breeze by Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett.
- Song (Traditional): Our Great Virginia, lyrics by Mike Greenly and arranged by Jim Papoulis.
- Spirit: George Washington’s rye whiskey produced at Mount Vernon.
- Sports hall of fame: Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth.
- Television series: Song of the Mountains.
- Tree: American Dogwood.
- War memorial museum: Virginia War Museum in Newport News.