Have you seen it before? A hummingbird-like butterfly, who is the Moro-sphinx, this amazing insect?

The moro-sphinx is a very common butterfly and well distributed throughout our country. It is also the best known and most widespread sphinx in Franche-Comté. Passionate about flowers, you will probably find it near your gardens and flower pots. You still have to recognize it, but don’t worry, this one stands out.

If the moro-sphinx is so named it is because it belongs to the sphinx family of butterflies. ” All have the distinction of having a very thick body and tapered wings remarks Justine Amiotte-Suchet, communications officer at the National Botanical Conservatory of Franche-Comté – Regional Invertebrate Observatory. And if this group is named “sphinx”, it is because of their caterpillar. Indeed, it tends to position itself by raising its head forward, which recalls the position adopted by the sphinx of Greek mythology.

The moro-sphinx is also sometimes nicknamed “hummingbird butterfly”. Because it has a resemblance to the bird. Indeed, like the hummingbird, the insect has a large proboscis and therefore remains at a distance from the flower when it forages. It also has an ultra-hover and low wing flight very quickly. It is also one of the butterflies that records the most wing beats per second with 75 beats per second.

Another interesting aspect of this insect is that it is considered a moth, yet this one is exclusively diurnal. Justine Amiotte-Suchet specifies that “ the day/night butterfly distinction is actually not related to the phase during which the butterfly is visible “. Butterflies are divided into two groups according to certain criteria such as the shape of the antennae and the position of the wings. And, it has been found that the majority of butterflies in one group fly during the day and the other at night. This is how the term “day/moth butterfly” came about.

Anyone can participate, just want to observe nature

In order to better know this invertebrate and its distribution on the territory, the National Botanical Conservatory of Franche-Comté – Regional Observatory of Invertebrates and the Office for Insects and their environment of Franche-Comté, launch a census operation thanks to a survey participatory.

Until July 30, anyone who wishes can fill out an online form, indicating the species observed, the date and the precise location. ” This information is very important. For example, the date of observation makes it possible to interpret the scenology of the species. That is, to be able to know if it emerges earlier or later than usual. And in the long term, it can make it possible to visualize the consequences of climate change “. A scientific team collects all the data before analyzing it and drawing up a report.

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