Scaptia beyonceae

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Scaptia beyonceae
Scaptia Beyonceae.jpg
Scientific classification
S. beyonceae
Binomial name
Scaptia beyonceae
Lessard, 2011

Scaptia beyonceae is a species of horse fly found in the Atherton Tablelands in north-east Queensland, Australia.[1] Discovered in 1981 but not scientifically described until 2011, the fly is named after American recording artist and actress Beyoncé.[2][3]


Scaptia beyonceae has a striking golden tip to its abdomen, formed by a dense patch of golden hairs, providing the inspiration for its name.[4] Part of the Plinthina subgenus, S. beyonceae was first collected in 1981, along with two other previously unknown subgenus specimens; the fly was officially described in 2011 by CSIRO research scientist Bryan Lessard.[5] According to Lessard, although usually considered by humans to be pests, many types of horse fly serve an important role in the pollination of plants. The flies drink nectar from several types of grevilleas, tea trees and eucalypts.[3]

Other than the 1981 specimen, the fly has only been collected on two other occasions. All three collected specimens are female.[6]


The naming of animal species is required to comply with guidelines established by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN).[7] The ICZN's guidelines allow for species to receive names that honour people, including celebrities.[8] Other species named after famous people include Hyla stingi, a frog named after the singer Sting; Pachygnatha zappa, a spider named after singer-songwriter Frank Zappa; and three beetle species from the Agathidium genus (A. bushi, A. cheneyi and A. rumsfeldi) named after American politicians George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld respectively.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lessard, Bryan; Yeates, David (2011). "New species of the Australian horse fly subgenus Scaptia (Plinthina) Walker 1850 (Diptera: Tabanidae), including species descriptions and a revised key". Australian Journal of Entomology. 50 (3): 241–252. doi:10.1111/j.1440-6055.2011.00809.x.
  2. ^ "Fly named after Beyonce because of bum". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Media. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b "New species of fly named in honour of performer Beyoncé". CSIRO. 13 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  4. ^ Atherton, Ben (13 January 2012). "CSIRO unveils bootylicious Beyonce fly". ABC Online. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  5. ^ Draggan, Sidney (13 January 2012). "Scaptia beyonceae: new species of fly". Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  6. ^ Jackson, Morgan D. (13 January 2012). "Irreplaceable fly described from Australia". Biodiversity in Focus. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  7. ^ a b Nelson, Sarah C. (13 January 2012). "Beyonce fly Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae is as bootylicious as the singer". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  8. ^ Pearlman, Jonathan (14 January 2012). "The Beyonce fly: Researchers name insect with golden behind after singer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 January 2012.

External links[edit]