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Rare bird-sized moth observed in Chernobyl

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Specialists from the Radiological and Ecological Reserve of the Biosphere in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl spotted a rare large butterfly that is on the list of endangered species in the country.

It is one of the largest butterflies in Ukraine and Europe and received the name of Catocala fraxini. This species belongs to the subfamily of Erebinae.

The length of its front wing can reach 4.5 centimeters, while during flying its wingspan can reach 11 centimeters, therefore scientists compare its size with a bird.

The specialists of the Radiological and Ecological Reserve of the Biosphere explained that this butterfly is nocturnal and at night it flies towards the light.

The range of the Catocala fraxini covers almost all of central and northern Europe, as well as parts of southern Europe. This species can be seen in the Palearctic region, including in northern Turkey, the Far East of Russia, the Korean peninsula, and Japan.

The front wings are light grey or whitish brown, sometimes with a yellow tinge. The inner and outer cross lines are white, black, and have jagged margins. Hindwings are black with a broad blue band in the middle.

Butterflies are very important as pollinating agents that ensure the reproduction of various plant species, in addition to occupying a place in the food chain that ensures the life of other animal species.

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