Sphingidae museum

Welcome to the site about the Czech museum of the Sphingidae family butterflies. The Sphingidae Museum is the second most comprehensive collection of Sphingid Moths in the world. Only the Museum of Natural Sciences in London can top it in number of species that have been collected. The museum currently owns 1 325 species and more than 200 000 specimen.

The aspiration of the science team of the museum is to contribute to the worldwide monitoring of the occurrence of insects, to discover new unlabeled species, to pass knowledge to the wider public, to provide a discussion platform for experts in the field and to post results of work of the museum and of those collectors who don’t have the opportunity to publish their work on their own.

A big part of the museums activity is its editorial activity by the form of issuing the journal „The European Entomologist“. The journal contains descriptions of new species and not just of the Sphingidae family, case studies regarding revisions of taxonomy and final reports from expeditions.

The founder and head of the museum is a Czech entomologist Tomáš Melichar (member of the Czech Entomological Society at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic). The members of the editorial board of The European Entomologist are Ian J. Kitching (Natural History Museum, London, UK), Rodolphe Rougerie (curator at the Lepidoptera section in the Muséum National d'histoire Naturelle, Paris), Carlos G. C. Mielke (Brasil) and Jean Haxaire (France).

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Sphingidae museum
Museum activities
General information about the form of implementation of international projects
A seclection of implemantated activites of the museum


Museum activities zpět

  • Visiting days for public – the collections are available on the principle of reserving a tour and thematic educational courses organized by the museum.
  • Editorship, printing and distribution of the entomological journal „The European Entomologist“.
  • Publishing information about new entomologist discoveries of workers and co-workers of the museum.
  • Cognition and evaluation of the biodiversity of insects in general, especially the Sphingidae family.
  • Identification of genetic sequences allowing the recognition of various Sphingidae species and integration of these sequences to the BOLD program (Barcoding of Life Data System) of the Guelph University in Ontario, Canada.
  • Study of the impact of human activities on the life dynamics of insect populations.
  • Biotope field research (both in and out of nature reserves) heading towards recession and insect catching. All of the material is then transported to the Czech republic for analysis.
  • Preparations, conservations, classifications, analyses and descriptions of the captured insects.
  • Mutual exchange of insect samples between moth research centers, especially those focused on the Sphigidae species.
  • Cooperation with national scientific research centers of involved countries.
  • Development of scientific reports and preparation of insect samples for partners of the involved countries.
  • The museum offers cooperation for scientific research of insects in general also on their bases in field in the involved countries.
  • Organization of lectures in the museum.
  • Participation in educational programs of the  Orlov Environmental Centre (http://www.eco-centrum.cz/)


General information about the form of implementation of international projects zpět

  • The museum is organizing foreign exploratory expeditions. The results of these expeditions allow the international entomological community to deepen the understanding of the biodiversity of insects.
  • The museum covers the cost of expedition teams sent to catch insects in involved countries.
  • The duration of projects is 3-4 years.
  • One year after the completion of each project a copy of the complete documentation is handed to the institutions of the involved countries. As well as the samples of captured and prepared insects.
  • An approximate report is developed in the following months after the end of every separate field expedition.
  • After each field expedition a sum and examination of all the captured samples is made and then they are sent for analysis to the Czech Republic. The sum and examination of the captured samples is made in the presence of the partners of involved countries.
  • A SUV vehicle of Sphingidae museum is available at the place of research.
  • The frequency of field expeditions ranges from 2 to 5 a year.
  • The duration of the expeditions does not exceed two months in order to preserve the integrity of the captured insects.
  • Every research expedition consists of a maximum of two experts.
  • Calendar of major activities in the field is directly dependent on climatic conditions. The most appropriate period is the rain season, but other months are also considerable.
  • Research is generally carried out throughout the country, including nature reserves, excluding areas of strategic and/or military value. The areas of research are settled with the partner before every research expedition.
  • Sphingidae research projects currently implemented by the museum: Cuba, India and Central African Republic


Selection from the implemented activities of the museum zpět

The discovery and description of new species of Sphingidae

Ambulyx marissa Eitschberger & Melichar, 2009
Ambulyx rawlinsi Melichar, Řezáč & Ilčíková, 2015
Ambulyx viteki Melichar & Řezáč, [2014]
Ampelophaga nikolae Haxaire & Melichar, 2007
Angonyx chelsea Eitschberger & Melichar, 2009
Angonyx williami Eitschberger & Melichar, 2009
Ceratomia mooseri Haxaire & Melichar, 2012
Ceratomia palting Haxaire & Melichar, 2012
Ceridia agilei Melichar & Řezáč, [2014]
Coenotes arida Moulds & Melichar, [2014]
Coenotes jakli Haxaire & Melichar, 2007
Dahira jitkae Haxaire & Melichar, 2007
Dahira klaudiae Brechlin, Melichar & Haxaire, 2006
Dahira uljanae Brechlin & Melichar, 2006
Daphnis hypothous crameri Eitschberger & Melichar, 2010
Daphnis kitchingi Haxaire & Melichar, 2011
Daphnusa zythum Haxaire & Melichar, 2009
Degmaptera schnitzleri Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Erinnyis cubensis Melichar, Řezáč, Haxaire & Ilčíková, 2015
Euchloron megaera asiatica Haxaire & Melichar, 2009
Falcatula svaricki Haxaire & Melichar, 2008
Griseosphinx naumanni Melichar & Řezáč, [2014]
Kentrochrysalis heberti Haxaire & Melichar, 2010
Madoryx pseudothyreus bahamensis Melichar & Řezáč, [2014]
Madoryx pseudothyreus floridensis Melichar & Řezáč, [2014]
Nephele xylina rybari Haxaire & Melichar, 2011
Nephele xylina socotrensis Haxaire & Melichar, 2011
Platysphinx zabolicus Haxaire & Melichar, 2007
Pseudoclanis molitor transversa Haxaire & Melichar, 2011
Psilogramma bacanensis Eitschberger & Melichar, 2011
Psilogramma manjunatha Eitschberger & Melichar, 2011
Rhagastis diehli Haxaire & Melichar, 2010
Rhodambulyx haxairei Melichar, Řezáč & Horecký, 2014
Rhodoprasina mateji Brechlin & Melichar, 2006
Rufoclanis haxairei  Melichar, 2011
Rufoclanis numosae rostislavi Haxaire & Melichar, 2009
Temnora occidentalis Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora orientalis Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora prokopci Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora prokopci similis Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora robusta Melichar, Řezáč & Ilčíková, 2016
Temnora rotundus Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora scitula pindurensis Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Temnora scitula stanislavi Melichar & Řezáč, 2014
Theretra ankae Melichar & Řezáč, 2015
Theretra eitschbergeri Melichar, Řezáč & Ilčíková, 2015
Theretra mothironi Haxaire & Melichar, 2012
Theretra rezaci Haxaire & Melichar, 2012
Theretra tomasi Haxaire & Melichar, 2008
Sataspes caerulea Melichar, Řezáč & Ilčíková, 2016
Sphingonaepiopsis asiatica, Melichar & Řezáč, 2013
Sphingonaepiopsis gurkoi, Melichar & Řezáč, 2013
Zacria vojtechi Haxaire & Melichar, 2003

Implemented bespoke projects

The islands of Cape Verde – Ministerstvo zemědělství Kapverd, průzkum biodiverzity lišajů (2002)
Senegal and Guinea – Survey about biodiversity of Sphingidaes in national parks (2004)

Entomological expeditions

  • Indonesia – Sumatra, Borneo, Bali, Irian Jaya, Timor, Sumba (2000 – 2005)
  • Madagascar (2001)
  • Republic of the Philippines (1998)
  • Dominican republic (2002)
  • Jamaica (2005)
  • Guatemala (2000)
  • Ukraine (2003)
  • India (2008)
  • Central African Republic (2008 – 2012)
  • Cuba (2008 – 2012)