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The Old Lady: Missing Berliner spotted for the first time in 30 years

The Old Lady or Mormo maura

The Museum für Naturkunde Museum is currently implementing a project on animals, plants and fungi that have disappeared from Berlin. These are species that once occurred here but can no longer be found. Of the total of 9,200 species in Berlin that were examined for their conservation status (the actual number of species in Berlin is much higher), a total of 1,400 (15%) is considered lost.

Butterflies and moths have been particularly affected: 150 of Berlin's 856 native species have disappeared. They have retreated from Berlin for a variety of reasons, many of them surviving in neighboring Brandenburg and hoping for a chance to find a home in the capital again.

Now it has been possible to trace one of the lost Berliners: "The Old Lady", Mormo maura, an impressively large owlet moth. It came to the surface at the Massantepfuhl in the landscape park Rudow-Altglienicke where it could be photographed. This butterfly always lives near water and has not been recorded in Berlin since the fall of communism. Whether there is a small population of this species at the Massantepfuhl is a matter for further research. Many butterfly species, like many other animals, are not always easy to find.