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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christii fly
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Subclass: Pterygota
Infraclass: Neoptera
Superorder: Endopterygota
Order: Diptera
Family: Scatopsidae
Genus: Ectaetia
Species: E. christii
Binomial name
Ectaetia christii
Rotheray & Horsfield, 1997

The Christii fly (Ectaetia christii) is a fly species named after the late Iain Christie, a farmer and amateur entomologist from Dunbartonshire. It measures 2 mm (112 in) long and is black in colour.[1] Christii flies live under the bark of smaller branches or twigs of dead aspen trees.[2]


Iain Christie originally discovered the Christii fly with several others in the late 1980s, but the fly was not recognised as a new species until 1997, during a survey of the flora and fauna of the Cairngorms.[3] The research was conducted for the book The Nature Of The Cairngorms, which includes 223 species mainly found there and 1,153 further species for which the Cairngorms are nationally noted.[1] Graham Rotheray of the Museum of Scotland and Dave Horsfield of Scottish Natural Heritage found the Christii fly under the bark of a decaying aspen tree near Grantown-on-Spey.[4] Since then, it has been found in Norway and two or three more times in the Cairngorms.[1]

Rotheray described the Christii fly as "a superb example of a boreal species which has lain undiscovered in Scotland for thousands of years" and "a specialist species which adapted and probably came north with the retreat of the ice".[4] He also believed the fly to be a relic from the ice age.[5]


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