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02 August 2018, 18:24

Neptis sappho butterfly considered extinct in Belarus rediscovered

Photo courtesy of the Dnieper-Sozh national biological reserve
Photo courtesy of the Dnieper-Sozh national biological reserve

GOMEL, 2 August (BelTA) – The butterfly Neptis sappho presumed extinct in Belarus has been rediscovered in the Dnieper-Sozh national biological reserve in Loyev District, BelTA learned from director of the reserve Vladimir Dzerzhinsky.

“This butterfly was considered extinct in Belarus. Last time the butterfly was mentioned was in the book “Catalog of Insects of Mogilev Province” by N.M. Arnold in 1902,” he said. In Eastern Europe the main habitats of this species is the Carpathian region.

The reserve registered the sighting of the butterfly at the end of July, although the director said he saw it first last year. “This is a beautiful butterfly with a wingspan of up to 5cm. It was named in honor of the ancient Greek poetess,” Vladimir Dzerzhinsky noted.

Currently the reserve personnel together with scientists are monitoring the butterfly.

Another discovery made in the reserve last year was the sighting of Zerynthia polyxena. “It is a threatened species of butterfly which is listed in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Belarus. The butterfly belongs to the first category of environmental significance,” Vladimir Dzerzhinsky informed. Since last year the population of Zerynthia polyxena has increased, the area of its habitat has expanded in the reserve.

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