Dragonflies and damselflies are undoubtedly among the rarest insects in amber and have only been reported to date from Baltic and Dominican amber.
If the picture on the left catches your attention then you know that these are as rare as hens teeth........this is what I think is a dragonfly, Odonta, Anisoptera. The other chance is that it would be a damselfly, Zygoptera - I just do not know for sure, so I will stay with a dragonfly. The number of dragonflies can be counted on one hand. This is also a fairly complete animal. The body, while not perfect and the wings are intact.
This has got to excite anyone that knows their insects. This is Chiapas amber that is about 2 x .75 x .5 inches and weighs 7 grams.
There are also 2 poorly preserved termites - one which just shows the outline of the animal. Believe it or not, this one is priced to sell.
I get shivers when I see something like this. This is a piece of Mexican, Chiapas amber that has real hair. The piece is big and has a number of bugs, mostly bees (see the honey comb above). The hair is particularly cool. It appears that bits of tissue were ripped off when the became trapped in the resin. I like to think that maybe DNA from the mammal is still there. Never has anyone around here seen this type of 'clumped' hair. really sharp and really exciting to look at and imagine.
One of the most impressive planthoppers we have ever seen. The amber is large, just over 2 inches in length and very clear. The planthopper is a bit over .25 inches and it has it's wings spread. Actually there are a number of other planthoppers in this piece, but they pall in comparison. This animals in the order Homoptera, Superfamily Fulgoroidea, Family Achilidae That is as far as I can go with any certainty. This is just one of those pieces that is just so impressive when you hold it in your hand and look at the animals. If you know your planthoppers, then this will knock you for a loop.
For some reason I just fall in love with full leaves in amber. This is such a 'critter' - it is in Chiapas amber, very clear and with great color. It weighs 31 grams and is about 2 x 1 x 1 inches. This is kinda what I think of as the perfect piece. The leaf is about 3/4 of an inch long.
I am not an Isopod specialist, but I do know when the specimen is special. This one is. Isopods (or Woodlice): Order Isopoda, have seven pairs of legs, corresponding to the last seven thoracic segments. Isopods, together with shrimps, crabs, lobsters and water fleas, are crustaceans. They dwell in damp environments such as river banks or beaches, or inhibit tree stumps and humus. They feed mainly on fungi or scavenge. I am not good enough to say that this is a new species, but I would not discount it. It is a good piece.
You might feel that this is impossible, but here it is..........a very large millipede, Class Diplopoda. This is the finest example I have ever seen in amber, and probably ever will. The millipede is so large, I estimate its size to be about 1 inch in length! Here is a close up of its legs. The piece is filled with other stuff also. There appears nice fungus gnat , many gnats and a few flies, there is even a rare
predaceous mite (I do not think this is a tick) - Acarina, suborder Cryptostigmata, Family Bdellidae. This mite, in and unto itself is rare and expensive! (I am not an expert in mites and ticks so I insert a disclaimer here about the family). You just do not find millipedes like this, just unbelievable!
This is a nearly complete lizard in Chiapas amber. Found this year (2018) near Simojovel, in chiapas Mexico, this is an impressive piece. A little over an inch in length, you can see the outline of the body, some vertebrae, arm bones, and even some of the head bone structure. The entire piece of amber is about 2 x .5 x .25 inches. I have included numerous pictures below so you can get an idea of what the piece looks like and what the lizard inside looks like.
This termite bug, Termitaradus protera sp. n. (Termitaphididae: Hemiptera) from Mexican amber, represents the second known fossil of this family. From its presumed host, a worker of the basal termite, Toastmaster electrodominicus. The hypothesis that the family Termitaphididae is ancient and inhabited Pangaea is disputed in favor of a much more recent, Tertiary origin. It is suggested, in fact, that termitaphidids are highly modified Aradidae, possibly derived from Mezirinae.
All the described species of Termitaphididae have been found only in nests of termites. Fossil Termitaphididae in Dominican amber are very rare and in Dominican amber, only three preserved have been found.
Bottom line, as far as I know, this is the second specimen ever found in Mexican amber of a termite bug. Needless to say, this is a very special piece.
This is shaped more like a tusk, about 1.75 inches long and a bit more than 1/4 inch wide. It is very clear and very impressive. On the ventral side, posterior are what look like legs and then there is something else (I don't have a clue what they are.)
Some mayflies, Ephemeroptera, have 2 or 3 long hair-like tails and strong forewings. Hind wings are small and rounded or very reduced. Mayfly adults enjoy a life span of no more than two days. On transition from nymph to adult stage, they fly from the surface of the water for mating, but do not feed. They complete the mating process and die after one or two days. Mayfly eggs are laid in water, and are hatched within one or two weeks. Fossils of mayflies are very rarely found in amber. This specimen with 3 cerei is very rare. Mayflies have the shortest life span of any animal. They may spend two to three years as nymphs at the bottom of lakes and streams, and then live for as little as one hour as winged adults. You may find this comic good, especially since it deals with mayflies (you will be leaving this site, but you can use your 'back' button.)
Pseudoscorpion, an ant and a leaf. Pseudoscorpions are in the order Pseudoscorpionida that have fang-like chelicerae and short pedipalps. In scorpions, the pedipalps have been modified into pincers. Typically pseudo scorpions are very small. This pseudoscorpion is full with both pinchers raised as in battle. Included in the specimen is also a curled leaf and a worker ant, Hymenoptera. This is a good piece at a great price.
Not a particularly large piece (but not too small also). This has a clarity that is unsurpassed. It contains a true bug, Hemiptera, Encicoephalidae. This is what is called a gnat bug. The eyes encircle the head. The raptorial hook-like front legs indicate that this insect is predaceous. This is such a perfect piece that you can begin to see the pattern on it's legs. You do not see that very often on any insect in amber. The pictures of this bug are really wonderful. There is also a nice looking fly, Diptera, Brachycera.
This is a planthopper nymph - a perfect one in perfect amber, Homoptera, Fulgoroidea. Besides the perfect nature of this piece, look closely at the posterior end. This nymph has a brush tail. It is thought that these waxy filaments serve as an escape device - similar to how tarantulas rub the hairs off their backs to allow the fine hairs to get into the skin or eyes of a predator. You do not see these filaments on planthopper's very often.
Strepsiptera: this is a strange group of insects. Most species are described solely from the males because most of the females are devoid of eyes, antennae, legs and external genitalia and they live their life in the host! They prey upon solitary bees, solitary wasps, and true bugs mostly. The female is mostly flightless and are degenerate in that she has no legs and a body that looks rather like a maggot. The males have only one pair of functional wings, and these are the hind wings, the forewings are greatly reduced to look and function like the halteres of flies. Even for today, they are not that common and few people other than entomologists have or are likely to see them. This has it's own web page.
There is not much written about nematodes. They are small, often overlooked because of their size and just plain rare. They are rare in every type of amber, from Dominican to Baltic. Many nematodes live inside animals and are parasitic on them. Because they live inside organisms, they are not frequently seen in amber, since they would need to leave the body to be observed. Even at that, the nematodes that live in insects such as small flies are themselves small in order to live in such hosts.
The find here is breathtaking. There are 3 nematodes all just fantastically huge. The most obvious one is so large, it looks like a 'regular' worm (which is also so rare). This nematode is curled. If uncurled would be somewhere in the terms of an an inch and a half long (that is big). This is a huge smooth worm. It reminds me of the Ascaris nematodes that are so often dissected in Biology class in high school.
I am certainly not an expert in ants, but this one is big, about 3/4 of an inch long and the jaws are about an 1/8 of an inch in length. I think (think) this is a trap door ant, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, subfamily Ponerinae, Tribe, Ponerini, genus Odontomachus. I can see this worker ant moving slowly across the leaf litter in a forest. The bizarre head of species of this genus bears strong jaw-muscles, and large, elongate trap-jaws which are carried sideways when foraging, ready to snap shut as potential prey comes in touch with the long frontal trigger hairs. This is an animal to be reckoned with! There is some wood in this amber also.
The amber is Chiapas amber and very clear. The ant is easy to see.
Sometimes planthoppers can have very strange heads. Here is one that is called an "alligator-head" or "dragon" insect. This is because their snout resembles the head of an alligator. Naturalists have noted that modern types of such planthoppers often sit with their snouts up in the air, similar to the stance of a true reptile. This is the first time we have come across this type of planthopper (Homoptera:Fulgoroidea). They are so rare that you normally see the same picture over and over - well here is a new one, and just as rare. This is a perfect specimen. You will never see another one of these for sale, anywhere.
This is a wonderful cab, clear with great color. Upon inspection, this has one animal - a female webspinner, Embioptera....Unbelievable. Webspinners themselves are rare in amber. This specimen is rare. The primary feature of webspinners is their snake-like heads, with the forelegs which are short and stout. Webspinners have glands on their front legs that emit silk to line their homes. Most webspinners found in amber are male, females are even rarer (of course this is a female.) There is also part of a curled leaf in this piece. By the way, this is a very good price for a rare webspinner. This is a piece of rare Mexican amber (Chiapas).
This is the perfect piece.
It is about 1 inch x 1/2 inch x 1/4 inch. The amber is clear and shows the animal very well. This is a piece of Chiapas amber that contains a VERY large fly. Not quite a half inch long, this is still a monster fly. The details of this fly are exquisite. This is the type of piece that would look good as a pendant since you can easily see the animal. No microscope needed here - but if you have one, the details are magnificent. You just do not find them like this very often. I got carried away with the details of the eye - you will enjoy it. By the way, I priced this one to sell.
We have saved the best for "almost" last. Here is
a queen ant - not only that but she is mating with a drone.
This isn't even seen nowadays, much less caught in the act 24
million years ago in amber and discovered! This
has its own page for the story behind this one.
This is one of the animals that you will sometimes find in books. Often it is the same picture that is used from book to book or article to article. They are so rare in Dominican amber that you will just not see that many pictures of them. The whip scorpion is one of the rarest of all finds. Tail-less whip scorpions or amblypigids are very efficient predators. They remain hidden under leaves, bark and other debris for most of the day. They come out at night to feed. Their chelicerae are modified into strong, spine-armored grasping organs that the hapless arthropods would find nearly inescapable. Their front pair of legs, in contrast, are long and slender, obviously modified for sensory functions. Lacking any type of tail appendage, these formidable creatures are not frequently encountered. The females carry their eggs in a sac attached to the undersurface of the abdomen by a few silken threads.
Phrynus species resinae...............
is about 1 inch x .5 inches x .5 inches
This is a lace bug, family Tingidae, order Hemiptera. The delicate tracery of the wing venation gives them the name "lace" bug. They are very uncommon in amber and are seldom seen. Because of the rarity and because of the true beauty, these are considered prize specimens in amber. They are rare in Baltic and Dominican ambers. There is a small beetle and two other small insects near the lacy bug. The amber is clear and what I would consider one of the finest specimens available, anywhere.
If this picture does not catch your eye, nothing will. The amber itself is about 3 x 2 x .6 inches in size. The leaf that you see if about 1.25 x .5 inches - that is a BIG leaf. While I suppose that this is from a a Hymenea tree (the one that makes the resin that turns into amber) I cannot be for sure about this statement. It is very rare that you see an individual leaf like this. One side is perfect, the other almost perfect. The specimen is a museum piece, perfect in all ways. This amber is from Chiapas, Mexico.
Everyone always wants a pseudoscorpion, but often cannot afford one. This is one that you can afford. Nice piece of amber, reminds me a a very large jelly bean. The pseudoscorpion, order Chelonethida, is on the side. Pseudoscorpions are small animals, with their body length usually no more than .2 inches (5mm). Their large pair of pincers (pedipalps) look like a crabs, catching its victim and injecting them with silk from their pincers. Adult pseudoscorpions (this is an adult) can sometimes be seen "hitchhiking" on the back or wings of insects. This behavioral phenomenon is called "phoresis" and some examples have been captured in amber.
The Tingidae are a family of small insects in the order Hemiptera that are commonly referred to as lace bugs. They are called lace bugs because the pronotum and fore wings of the adult have a delicate and intricate network of divided areas that resemble lace.
Lace bugs are usually host-specific and can be very destructive to plants. Most feed on the undersides of leaves by piercing the epidermis and sucking the sap. The then empty cells give the leaves a bronzed or silvery appearance. Each individual usually completes its entire lifecycle on the same plant, if not the same part of the plant.
They are very rare in Dominican amber.
This is a perfect planthopper, Homoptera, Flgoridea. The name comes from their remarkable resemblance to leaves and other plants of their environment and from the fact that they often "hop" for quick transportation in a similar way to that of grasshoppers. The wings are spread very well.
Actually there are two planthoppers, but only one has decided to spread it's wing and give us a thrill.
Everyone needs a lizard in their collection. This one is perfect since it is not $85,000. Since this is one leg and most of the tail, the price is right. Not only that, but this is a particularly fine specimen. The details of the skin is out of this world. Looks like it died yesterday. The amber is not entirely polished and looks even better for it. You will find this is "as good as it gets".
This is one special piece. Not only is there a beautiful female mosquito, but the shape of the amber is VERY unique (see scanned image below). If you are thinking about making this into a pendant, it will hold that shape that catches the eye. Not only that, but there is an area on this piece that has barnacles! Just an unbelievable situation. The barnacles are on the surface of the amber, not inside. Wow, this is just a very unique piece.
There is what I think is another mosquito (not sure). Also there is a larval form of an unknown beetle.
Mosquitoes are members of the insect Family Culicidae. Insects, belonging to this family possess paired scaled wings, paired halteres, slender bodies, and long legs. They belong to the insect Order Diptera (“true flies”). Mosquitoes are similar to flies though. The differences among the two insects include: scales on the wings of mosquitoes, longer legs and female mosquitoes possessing a long mouth part called proboscis in the female, used for piercing their victim’s skin. The males do not have the probiscis - so when you get bitten by a mosquito, you are being bitten by a female.
To find mosquito's in amber is a VERY rare occurrence. Mosquito's are not attracted to the aeromic compounds found in resin (amber). Which means they have no reason to find themselves trapped in that sticky resin from the tree. Gnats and such are attracted to the resin, but not mosquito's. As generally known, mosquito's are attracted by a mammalian scent - not the chemical aroma of a tree. This is a piece of amber from Chiapas, Mexico.
There are only 50 or 60 amber scorpions in the world today. The picture above shows one of the most beautiful scorpions ever found, with slightly open pincers and a raised stinger that presents a perfect picture. Its body is about .7 inches long. Before mating, the male and female engage their pincers and move back and forth as if dancing. When the male drops its sperm capsule, the female picks it up and keeps it for fertilization. The juvenile specimens are often carried on the back of the mothers until they become mature. This is amber from Mexico, Chiapas amber, Simojovel mines.
Most often, the creatures trapped in the resin are tiny bugs or floral fragments, but an example such as this is considerably rarer. Suspended in the center of this clear, beautifully shaped amber nugget is a scorpion, every detail of its arthropod anatomy is visible, its tail extended with the vicious barb curved around, its tiny jointed legs bent in towards its body, and one of its larger claw legs extended to the side as though in a final despairing gesture as the sticky tree sap covered its helpless body.
Probably family Buthidae, this specimen is seen best from the ventral side. This is as rare as they get and it is priced as an unbelievable deal for anyone.
Centipedes in Dominican amber are very rare. This is a perfect centipede, Class Chilopoda order Geophilomorpha. It is almost as if the centipede was laid down to look it's be. Not only do you not find centipedes, but to find a perfect one is so rare that it just does not happen. trees and leaves. This centipede is well over an inch long.
This is a rather rare one. It comes from a parasitic larval form that only lives in spiders. - thus the nickname of 'spider fly'. Not only rare - but this is a perfect piece. And - it may be a new species (although I will not guarantee that since Acroceridae are not my specialty.) All known species are internal parasites of spiders. Adults of living forms can be found in vegetated or forested areas with females usually in search of a spider host or feeding on the nectar of flowers. The life span of adults is very short (usually only 1 week). Larvae include a planidial first instar that actively searches out a host immediately after hatching from the egg. Larvae pass through 4 instars before emerging from the host and pupating. If you have not guessed, this is a very rare animal in Dominican amber (also Baltic).
Here is almost what I would consider an impossible situation. We have 2 whip scorpions (this one and the one above). Both came fromthe La Toca mines and both are out of this world. This one is a bit smaller - the amber is a little bit smaller and the whip scorpion is a little bit smaller. But oh, is this perfect. There is also a small spider and even an unknown mite. This will take your breath away when you see it. The details are outstanding. There is a lot of general information in the box above, please take a look at that. This is a museum piece...........and offered to you at a fabulous price.
If you recognize the wings, then you know that this is a mayfly Emphemeridae. This is a male since the cerci are so long. This specimen with all three cerci intact is very rare. Mayflies are characterized by protruding eyes. Hind wings are small and rounded or very reduced. Mayfly adults enjoy a life span of no more than two days. On the transition from nymph to adult stage, they fly from the surface of the water for mating, but do not feed. They complete their mating process and die after one or two days. This specimen is perfect. There is also a cylindrical bark beetle, Coleoptera, Colydiidae.
Smallish piece of Baltic amber. There are about four primitive flies in this piece - really fun to look at, Nematocera. But wait, there is more. I suspect that the picture on this page would get your attention. This has a fairly large twisted wing parasite (for twisted wings that is) fly, Strepsiptera. UNBELIEVABLE. These are very rare. By the way, this is Baltic amber.
They are endoparasites in other insects, such as bees, wasps, leafhoppers, silverfish, and cockroaches. Most species of females never emerge from the host after entering its body, but finally die inside it. The early-stage larvae do emerge because they must find an unoccupied living host, and the short-lived males must emerge to seek a receptive female in her host.
To the uninitiated the males superficially look like flies. Adult males are very short-lived, usually surviving less than five hours, and do not feed. This is a male twisted wing. Probably on of the finest specimens of twisted wing parasites I have ever seen (I have seen 4 in my lifetime).