08 December 2010

Rediscovering World's Rarest Fly

News of the rediscovery by Ashley Kirk-Spriggs (National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa) and Robert Copeland (International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya) of a fly species not seen in more than 60 years delighted dipterists all over the world. Although the fly, Mormotomyia hirsuta, or the Terrible Hairy Fly, was found in 1933 and again in 1948, no amount of digging around in bat guano in the only spot from which the species is known had turned it up again until now. Because this species is not only the sole member of its genus, but of its family, the rediscovery at a time when molecular analysis can be added to morphological assessments is exciting news to those working on understanding the relationships among the higher flies. See http://www.nasmus.co.za/museum/news/world’s-rarest-fly-rediscovered

Mormotomyia hirsuta (male)
Mormotomyia hirsuta, male; photo by Robert Copeland

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