Ukasi shelters world’s rarest fly : The imposing Ukasi Rock, which rises to a height of approximately 20–25 metres, may not seem like much of a tourist draw unless combined with the Frightful Hairy Fly, an extremely rare species of wingless fly that is unique to this area (Mormotomyia hirsuta).

The Frightful Hairy Fly, also known as the Terrible Hairy Fly, was first described by entomologist E.E. Austen in 1936. It is thought to be the rarest fly in the world, thus even seeing one is a lifelong accomplishment.

When combined with the Frightful Hairy Fly, a highly rare breed of wingless fly that is only native to these parts, Ukasi Rock, a towering rock boulder rising around 20–25 metres in height, may not seem like much of a tourist draw (Mormotomyia hirsuta)

Even though we don’t have a photo of one, seeing the Frightful Hairy Fly is regarded the stuff of mythology. Spotting one is unusual enough. Actually, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has granted permission for this post to use its image.

Based on all of the excursions that have been conducted to the site thus far, it appears that the rainy season is the ideal time to visit and increase the likelihood of a sighting. Observing the fly is an amazing Kenya safari experience.

It is an entomological treasure due to its remarkable traits, which include diminished eyes and forewings, as well as incredibly long legs coated in incredibly long hairs that it utilizes as a parachute to glide down from the roof of crevices at Ukasi Rock.

The horrible insect has been sighted in Ukasi town previously.

The fly’s lengthy legs also enable it to move quickly across the dense accumulations of bat guano in a spider-like manner. There is concern that the Frightful Hairy Fly might go extinct.

This is the reason the region surrounding Ukasi Rock was recently designated as a national monument and protected site thanks to the work of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and the National Museums of Kenya.

You can have the added benefit of seeing bats in the cracks while you’re at Ukasi. There are some gaps that could pass for little caverns. Seize the chance to ascend Ukasi Hill and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surroundings.

Ukasi shelters world’s rarest fly
Ukasi shelters world’s rarest fly

Major H.B. Sharpe, the District Commissioner of the broader Garissa district at the time of the Frightful Hairy Fly’s discovery at Ukasi Rock in 1933, reported witnessing the flies “floating” from above like spiral-patterned feathers.

Only two of the many expeditions that have attempted to reach the rock since then have been able to observe the fly in its usual habitat, which is a bat roost wedged inside a broken boulder at the summit of the rock.

On November 30, the first visit took place following Sharpe’s finding. On February 8–9, 2010, a second trip was conducted to the location in order to collect rock samples for the purpose of characterizing the Ukasi Rock boulder’s geology and to investigate the expansive chasm.

When the lengthy rains should have started, on April 21, 2011, a third trip was carried out. In addition to the mysterious fly, Ukasi is currently dealing with a number of other problems, including as security concerns arising from Somali banditry, but it is still a fascinating destination worth visiting. You never know, maybe this is where your “five minutes of fame” are waiting for you.

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