The spherefly is a member of the butterfly and bee families. The name derives from the spherical shape of the rare and fast insect. Known as one of the fastest flying insects in existence, sphereflies can fly at up to 100 miles per hour. They fly in a circular motion and are so fast that hey are almost impossible to see when they are in motion.

A zoologist named Pete Beaks first discovered the spherefly around the swampy areas of Madagascar in 1985. Beaks was in search of new zoo animals when he felt a sharp sting in his arm. Like bees, sphereflies die when they sting, and when Beaks realized the insect that had stung him, he was fascinated to discover it was not a bee, but an insect he had never seen before. Astonished by the rarity of the insect, Beaks began to study the spherefly. In his studies, Beaks discovered that sphereflies develop in a cocoon like butterflies, and break out of it as adults. The size of the spherefly is approximately a ½ inch in diameter and its shape is spherical. The sex of the spherefly is determined by the color of its stripes. Male sphereflies have orange and black stripes on their bodies while female sphereflies have green and black stripes.

Although not venomous, spherefly stings can develop a rash and redness in the affected area that will cause severe itchiness. The fact that sphereflies die wen they sting, and the rarity of the insect have made the number of sphereflies in existence drop drastically within the last decade.

By Blanca Diaz