"One of the greatest wonders of nature": scientists discover insect highway shutterstock

"One of the greatest wonders of nature": scientists discover insect highway

Anna Velyka

Small creatures use it every year during migration

Researchers at the University of Exeter have identified the route of the annual migration of millions of insects heading south through a high mountain pass in the Pyrenees.

This is reported by SkyNews.

Scientists have recorded approximately 17 million flies, wasps, butterflies and dragonflies that fly through one 30-meter-wide passage on the border of France and Spain every fall. The 2,278-meter-high Bucharuelo Pass is the main insect migration route.

Will Hawkes

Photo: Will Hawkes .

"To see so many insects moving purposefully in one direction at the same time is truly one of nature's great wonders," said Dr Carl Wootton of the Exeter Center for Ecology and Conservation, who led the study.

Many insects travel from their northern summer ranges, including the UK, to places in southern Europe and northern Africa where winters are milder.

More than 70 years ago, a pair of British ornithologists first recorded flocks of marmalade flies flying over Bujaruelo Pass. Yellow-black striped flies are common throughout Europe. Recent studies have shown that they can migrate 3,000 km in autumn.

Earlier EcoPolitic reported that due to climate change on the planet there were half as many insects. Later, we told how plants adapt to the disappearance of pollinating insects: over the past 30 years, the flower size has decreased by 10%, and the amount of nectar by 20%.

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