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The State of Tennessee

Tennessee is home to a myriad of bug species - from beeltes and butterflies to crickets and spiders.

The state of Tennessee is located centrally in the American east, typically considered part of the south. It is bordered by Kentucky and Virginia to its north, Missouri and Arkansas to its west, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to its south, and North Carolina to its east. This means that the state can see a balance of everything weather-wise - strong storms, high humidity, and snowy winters - which also dictate the insects encountered across its unique ecosystem.

The state covers 42,143 square miles of terrain, being completely landlocked. It does, however, contain a healthy dose of rivers, creeks, and lakes throughout its geography. The state's geography is typified by its plains in the west, the hills of the center, and the mountains of the east, signified by the three stars found on the official state flag. To the west lies the mighty Mississippi River, supporting all manner of insects and animals (as well as people and commerce). To the east can be found the rugged Appalachian Mountains which dominate much of the east of the country.

Population centers of the state include Memphis to the west, Clarksville to the northwest, Nashville at near-center, and Chattanooga and Knoxville to the east. As more of the state becomes developed, insect ecosystems are being pushed further out (or forced to mingle with humanity directly). The state's total population from the 2020 census is 6,916,897, ranked 16th in the nation overall.

Prime viewing months for bug-hunting are June-July-August, particularly July when most species are very active in the day and night hours. Very little can be encountered outdoors in the winter months, generally November through March but activity begins to ramp up come March into April and May. By June, with summer having set in and humidity creeping up, the world of insects is alive and active.

The state also has an official 'state insect', this being the Zebra Swallowtail.
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