Mon, Dec 13, 2010 - Page 15 News List

Scientists re-discover Africa’s ‘terrible hairy fly’
「可怕多毛蠅」於非洲重現身影

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」。

PHOTO: AFP / ROBERT COPELAND / ICIPE 照片:法新社

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.

(AFP)

上週一份聲明表示,一群科學家在肯亞的山洞裡,發現世上最稀有,也最奇怪的蒼蠅,且收集到自一九四八年以來第一隻「可怕多毛蠅」樣本。

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。

聲明說,「這個物種的再度發現,使世界上的昆蟲博物館都為之興奮。這種蒼蠅只在一九三三年與一九四八年被發現兩次。」

這項研究由國際昆蟲生理和生態中心主導。這個組織旨在協助非洲熱帶國家透過研究昆蟲,控制天然資源,並以此減少貧窮與促進健康及飲食安全。

人們描述這隻長得像蜘蛛的蒼蠅為「怪異」,因為牠的眼睛與失去功能的雙翼縮小,因此體積相較起來特別大。雄性蒼蠅可以將修長的腳伸長到一公分左右,且身上布滿黃色的毛。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

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.

(據說這條三公斤重的鯉魚是在河裡所補到這個品種最大的樣品。)

2. cleft n.

裂縫 (lie4 feng4)

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

(蜘蛛消失在下方的石頭裂縫中。)

3. poverty n.

貧窮 (pin2 qiong2)

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

(全球貧窮問題是現代社會必須面對最迫切的議題之一。)

4. harness v.

控制 (kong4 zhi4)

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

(大學當局表示,控制並引導學生的創造力是很重要的。)


柯普藍說,「由於Mormotomyia這種蒼蠅無法飛行,所以牠很有可能就因此被限定在這個狹小的棲息地。」

他補充說,「如果真是這種情況,他被發現的整個巫薩奇山丘地可以成為國家遺產,並且給予適當保護的話,那就太棒了。」

(法新社/翻譯:吳岱璟)

This story has been viewed 2916 times.
TOP top