Chiapas Amber

This is the fabled Chiapas amber from the Mayan mines in Chiapas, Mexico. It is fairly difficult to get a hold of and is highly prized for its impressive color and transparency. You can find reds, blues, greens and of course amber colors. This is real color, not like altered Baltic amber. This is quite a find and not seen often! You can do just about anything you want with this amber. My suggestion is for jewelry - the depth of color is seldom seen in any amber from anywhere else!


Item 1

I will not guarantee the ID of this, but it certainly looks like a horsefly to me, Diptera, Rhagionidae.  Horse flies are very rare in chiapas or Dominican amber.  This guy photographs well.

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Item 2

House centipede - Scutigeromorpha.  Adult house centipedes have 15 pairs of legs, though only 7 at birth.  They add one pair of legs each time they molt, making their age apparent simply by counting the number of legs.  This one, as far as I can tell is a full adult.  House centipedes are fast creatures in spite  of their sluggish appearance.  Their legs can rarely be seen intact in amber, because they are often torn off as the centipedes tried to escape from the resin.  House centipedes are very rare in amber.  There is also what looks like part of a stem and maybe the beginnings of a flower.

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Item 3

A smallish piece that contains what looks like mammalian hair. Upon a very concentrated observation of this piece, I think it is from a botanical source (fibers) rather than hair.  Now I am counting on that since if this was real mammalian hairs, it would be very expensive.  It is a good piece and great fun to look at with a magnifier.

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Item 4

Arthropoda:Crustacea - Representatives of both the amphipods (class Amphipoda) and isopods (class Isopoda) occur in amber .  This particular one is an amphipod called a 'forest hopper'.  Calling this one a forest hopper is a best guess, I do not think it is a sandhopper.  These can occur under bark where they are scavengers feeding on decaying plant material.  If you like amphipods, this is a nice specimen.

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$ 105

Item 5

This is a beautiful piece.  Large, clear with great color.  There is a single fly on one side.  Very easily visible. Not only can you see the fly, but upon close inspection, the wings still have patterns on them!  Very cool.  Not sure what type of fly, but it is a beauty.

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Item 6

This is a fossil from the Pocitos mines in Simojovel, Chiapas.  I do no know what it is, but it is circular, similar to a nautilus.  My guess is that this is scientifically important.


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Item 7

This is a VERY rare insect, it is a termite bug, Termitaphididae.  These highly modified bugs are adapted for survival in termite nests.  A single representative has been reported in Mexican amber.  They have very flattened bodies to live inside the termite mounds.  These animals are rare.  I tried to get  a side-ways shot to show the flatness of the animal.

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Item 8

This is a large piece of amber. It weighs about 64 grams and is about 2 X 2 X 1 inch. Inside is a treasure of botanical specimens. You can find many stamens, leaves with visible surface structures and much more. If you like botanical specimens, this one is irresistible. A large piece that you can put on your desk as a sample of Chiapas amber with plant parts. A great discussion starter.

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Item 9

I do not run across square headed ants very often, Hymenoptera, Myrmicidae:Zacryptocerus.  These are worker ants who protect the colony by blocking the entrance with their heads.  Next to to ant is a fungus gnat, Mycetophilidae.  Finally there is part of a spider web that looks like it has been dragged through the forest floor.

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Item 10

A nice chunk of Chiapas amber with an unusual inclusion. Inside this amber is a large coprolite. The coprolite appears to have small rocks (not sure they are rocks) inter spaced throughout the piece. Just the size of the coprolite is larger (which in itself is rather rare. Cool piece with a lot of personality.

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Item 11

The soldier beetles (Cantharidae) are relatively soft-bodied, straight-sided beetles.  One of the first described species has a color pattern reminiscent of the red coats of early British soldiers, hence the common name. They are also known commonly as leatherwings because of their soft elytra.  A beautiful piece of amber, perfectly clear with a great specimen.

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Item 12

Impressive. One does not find, commonly, such a beautiful specimen. The amber is clear, the animal is large and you can see patterns on the wings and the details are just perfect. A fantastic specimen. This is a planthopper, in the family Nogodinidae, genus Biolleyana. They have membranous wings with delicate venation and can be confused with members of other Fulgoroid families such as the Issidae and Tropiduchidae. Some authors treat it as a subfamily of the Issidae. This is quite the specimen. It is as fine a piece as one can get.

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Item 13

I am not 100% sure what this fly really is.........scuttle fly?  It is Diptera,  Brachycera but from Brachycera on, I am just not sure.  I do know that this is a beautiful piece, clear and the fly is gorgeous.  The details are out of this world.

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Item 14

A lovely piece of Chiapas amber with a nice jumping spider in one corner. This is a good piece and the price is good also.
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Item 15

A butterfly, Lepidoptera.  Butterflies in amber are exceptionally rareThey are characterized by their coiled, tube-like proboscis and microscopic scales on the wings.  You can see the scales in a number of these photos.  The wings are even spread.

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Item 16

This is from Chiapas, Mexico.  What what a large and beautiful piece of amber. It is about 5 x 2 x .5 inches and weighs 85 grams - this is a large piece of amber.  Oh, and clear - very clear.  Now the biggie .... this is a wonderful leaf at one side of the amber.  How cool.  This giant piece can sit on a desk and be enjoyed by all.   Very rare to be able to see a leaf like this.  Also there are some barklice and even an immature planthopper.    This is a special piece.

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Item 17

Take a second look, this is a stonefly, Plecoptera. The name "Plecoptera" literally means "braided-wings", from the Ancient Greek plekein (πλέκειν, "to braid") and pteryx (πτέρυξ, "wing"). This refers to the complex venation of their two pairs of wings, which are membranous and fold flat over their backs. Stoneflies are generally not strong fliers, and some species are entirely wingless.   While not impossible to find in amber, they are rare.  This is possibly a rolled-winged stonefly, Leuctridae.

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Item 18

So often you need a magnifier to see the insects, not this one.  This is a female cricket.  You can easily see the ovipositor.

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Item 19

I admit it, I am not an expert in spiders.  There are 2 spiders here - one is a male (the enlarged pedipalps) and the other with the enlarged abdomen.  It looks like part of the abdomen has been cut away.  But to me, this screams of a mated pair of spiders.  Might not be, but it certainly looks like it.  Not only is this a male and female spider, but the amber they are in is layered from many successive resin flows - a real cool effect.

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Item 20

This is a rare specimen.  Possibly not for everyone, but for a true bug specialist.  This is a flat bug, Calisiopsis azteca. Possibly only the second ever found in Mexican amber.  In the family Aradidae, order Heteroptera, this is has an interesting story.  First, see the pdf from the initial discovery, published in 2016.  As I read the article, I noticed that the Dominican counterpart is Calisiopsis brodzinskyorum.  Here is the back story.  Back in the 1990's Jake Brodzinsky and I ran "Amberica West" as a company.   Jake died in 2004 and I took over the company as sol proprietor.  The Dominican counterpart of this flat bug was named after Jake!  Imagine my thoughts  when I saw that.  Jake was an impressive, intelligent and honest man.

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Item 21

Really a sharp piece of Chiapas amber.  Rectangular, about 1 inch x .5 inch x .5 inch in size.  This is very clear and has a stilt-legged fly. The Micropezidae are a moderate-sized family of acalyptrate muscoid flies in the insect order Diptera.  These insects are commonly called stilt-legged flies, after their characteristically long legs. The fore legs are markedly smaller than the other pairs. Mostly, they are long-bodied, often black flies, usually with infuscated (darkened) wings. This one is perfect.  Rarely found in amber, the details are superb, the wing venation is nothing less than spectacular.   What an addition for someone's collection.

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Item 22

This is a 12 mm hand polished Chiapas amber sphere.  Inside is a single female worker ant, Hymenoptera, Formicidae.

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Item 23

This is a beautiful necklace.   It extends to 24 inches in size, but is adjustable to almost any length.  Just a great piece of Chiapas amber with a perfect centered bee.  This is a tropical stingless bee, Hymenoptera,  family, Apidae:Meliponini, genus, Proplebeia, species dominicana.  Note the large, flattened tibia of the hind leg.  These were presumably used to collect pollen as in modern bees, but they probably collected resin from the amber tree, which accounts for their higher frequency as fossil inclusions in Dominican and Mexican amber.  There are also four small amber beads in the necklace itself.  There is a layer of air bubbles, may of which have 20 million year air bubbles in water.

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Item 24

A rather special piece of amber.  This defines the concept of a 'chunk' of amber.  It is almost 7 x 4 x 3 inches (that is big) and weighs a whopping 1,250 grams (2 and 3/4 pounds).  Large heavy, beautiful............but wait, there is more.  Look carefully at the images of this piece.  There are fossil remains all around it.   These are Brachiopod imprints.  around the majority of the amber.  You just do not see this very often.  A strong confirmation of the role of sea water and amber.  There are shells outside the piece; as though the amber was covered by shells; all that you see on the piece are shells not dirt, regularly amber is covered by something  called "cascajo" (dust, clay) there are parts that you actually  something as seashells (a bivalve). This is the most unique thing we have seen in a long time; we just wonder what this would look like as a display piece in a store?

Kaegen Lau suggested that "Looks like Ostrea sp. fossils on the exterior, and a partial barnacle remnant as well."  I agree.


Item 25

An unusual fly, Brachycera that has strange antennae.  That is all I can ID on this fly.  It is cool and the antennae are not commonly found like this.

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Item 26

Talk about rare - this is a mayfly with the wings open.  It is large and a beautiful piece. Mayflies are in the order Ephemeroptera.  This one has protruding eyes and 2 long hair-like tails.  Mayfly adults  enjoy a life span of no more than two days - thus part of their "rareness".  On top of that, the nymphs live in water.  This is a very nice piece.

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Item 27

Item 28

A real good pendant.   Longish, about 2.5 inches, this pendant of Chiapas amber is a beauty.  Artistically designed and wound with silver, this will look good on just about anyone.  There are definitely some cool 20 million year old air bubbles in this piece.  (Comes with the black necklace.)

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Item 29

This looks like the larvae of a lacewing (Neuroptera).  I cannot say which family, Ascalaphidae or Myrmeleontidae, I think it is  one of theseLacewings are rather rare in amber, the larvae are even more so.  This is a small piece, but the amber is clear and perfect.  an excellent specimen, this is a great addition to anyone's collection.

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Item 30

This is a large piece of amber, 43 grams.  It is about 2.5 inches x 1.5 x .7 inches in size.  The praying mantis is small, but perfect.  If you were to by the amber without an insects inside, it would be about $400 - with the praying mantis inside, this beauty is only $1,600.  That is a great price for a rare praying mantis.  You can even see the patterns on the legs. There are also 2 tropical stingless bees and worker ant (rather transparent).  Great piece at a fantastic price.  You cannot go wrong with this piece of Chiapas amber.

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Item 31

I think this is a wasp - although I am not sure.  It has a very interesting abdominal extrusion.  I cannot tell what is coming out of it's abdomen, an egg?  It is cool though.  Nice sized piece.

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Item 32

How unusual!  A guitar that has been carved out of Chiapas amber and made into a pendant.  Fun, unique and beautifully done.

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Item 33

The Bombyliidae are a large family of flies comprising hundreds of genera, but the lifecycles of most species are known poorly, or not at all.  Their common name are bee flies or humbleflies. They range in size from very small (2 mm in length) to very large for flies (wingspan of some 40 mm).[1][2] When at rest, many species hold their wings at a characteristic "swept back" angle. Adults generally feed on nectar and pollen, some being important pollinators, often with spectacularly long proboscises adapted to plants such as Lapeirousia species with very long, narrow floral tubes. Unlike butterflies, bee flies hold their proboscis straight, and cannot retract it. In parts of East Anglia, locals refer to them as beewhals, thanks to their tusk-like appendages. Many Bombyliidae superficially resemble bees and accordingly the prevalent common name for a member of the family is bee fly. Possibly the resemblance is Batesian mimicry, affording the adults some protection from predators.  This is a beautiful piece of amber, large and clear.

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Item 34

These highly modified bugs are adapted for survival in termite nests, A single representative has been reported in Mexican amber, family Termitaphididae, genus, Termitaradus, species protera. This is a true bug, Hemiptera. I cannot guarentee that this is a new species, but it would not surprise me. The level of detail on this specimen is spectacular. Normally you cannot see legs since they are normally flttened to the body - but here you can see them!

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Item 35

This is a beautiful penant, about 1.5 x 1.25 x .25 inches.  It is encased by silver.  the amber is clear with a great color and contains a weevil, Coleoptera, superfamily Curculionoidea, probably Lechriopinae.  Really impressive necklace.  He is a short video.

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