Home » The Shvets Museum exhibit Fairy of Butterflies by Llardo was shown by Oleksandr Shvets

The Shvets Museum exhibit Fairy of Butterflies by Llardo was shown by Oleksandr Shvets

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The Shvets Museum exhibit Fairy of Butterflies by Llardo was shown by Oleksandr Shvets

In 1862, Charles Darwin, after studying an orchid of the species Angraecum sesquipedale sent to him from Madagascar, drew attention to the extremely long spur (the part of the flower in which the nectar is located). In this type of orchid, the spur reached 30 centimeters in length! Darwin suggested that the island must contain a winged insect—most likely a butterfly—with a proboscis of the appropriate length.

During Darwin’s lifetime, such an insect was not discovered. But in 1903, entomologists Walter Rothschild and Carl Jordan, analyzing the Madagascar “prey” of their colleagues, discovered that the Xanthopan morganii species caught there (already known from the southeastern regions of Africa) have exactly such a proboscis.

The Madagascar population of Xanthopan morganii was separated into a separate subspecies called praedicta – “predicted”. It should be noted that for almost 90 years, the connection of the long-stemmed orchid with the long-spurred orchid remained a pure scientific conjecture. And only in 1992, a special camera for night filming recorded the process of feeding a butterfly, “predicted” by Darwin, with the nectar of a Mahidaskar orchid. Such miracles sometimes happen in nature.

Allow me to wish all today’s birthdays good and happiness. And you, my friends, have a nice day. As always, yours truly.

Oleksandr Shvets

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