Mon, Dec 13, 2010 - Page 15 News List

Scientists re-discover Africa’s ‘terrible hairy fly’

A handout photo provided by the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) and taken on Dec. 4, 2010, shows a specimen of Mormotomiya Hirsuta, also known as the “terrible hairy fly.”
十二月四日,這張國際昆蟲生理和生態中心所提供的照片,就是拉丁學名為Mormotomiya Hirsuta的蒼蠅,同時也稱為「可怕多毛蠅」。


A group of scientists has rediscovered the world’s rarest and strangest fly in a cave in Kenya, collecting the first “terrible hairy fly” specimen since 1948, a statement said last week.

Dr Robert Copeland and fellow dipterist Dr Ashley Kirk-Spriggs found the fly, known as Mormotomyia Hirsuta, in its only known habitat, a cave-like rock cleft in Ukazi Hill east of Nairobi.

“The re-discovery of the species, which has been collected on only two occasions before, in 1933 and 1948, has caused excitement in insect museums world-wide,” said the statement.

The mission was led by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe), an organization which aims to reduce poverty and improve health and food security by enhancing tropical African countries’ ability to harness their natural resources through the study of insects.

The spider-like fly is described as “strange, due to its relatively large size, the males of which can stretch over 1cm its long legs and covering of yellow hairs, reduced eyes and its non-functional wings.”

“Since Mormotomyia cannot fly, there is a strong possibility that it is really restricted to this tiny habitat,” Copeland said.

“If that is the case, it would be wonderful if the entire Ukazi Hill, on which it is found, were declared a national heritage area and given suitable conservation protection,” he added.



勞伯‧柯普藍博士與雙翼昆蟲學家夥伴,阿許利‧柯克-斯普瑞格斯共同發現這隻蒼蠅。這隻蒼蠅的拉丁學名為Mormotomyia Hirsuta,是在奈洛比東邊巫薩奇山丘地的岩石裂縫,牠唯一棲息地發現的。





1. specimen n.

樣品 (yang4 pin3)

例: The 3kg carp is believed to be the largest specimen of its kind caught in the river.


2. cleft n.

裂縫 (lie4 feng4)

例: The spider disappeared down a cleft in the rock.


3. poverty n.

貧窮 (pin2 qiong2)

例: Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues modern society must face.


4. harness v.

控制 (kong4 zhi4)

例: The university says it’s important to harness the creativity of its students.





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