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

Just a beautiful piece of very clear amber with a compound leaf in it.  What a beauty.  To give you a size feel, the leaflet is about 1 inch in length (just under).

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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

This is an amazing piece of amber.  There is so much in here I am not sure where to start.  Most obvious is a torn leaf.  Extending nearly the entire length, this looks like a willow leaf (it is NOT a willow leaf - just looks like one).   There are numerous hair-like bits that terminate in what looks like a stamen.   They are probably part of a flower.  I can see a few fungus gnats, Diptera, Mycetophilidae.  There are some worker ants around.  Now the best part...............this has a centipede, class, Chilopoda, Order, CeophilomorphaCentipedes bite and are poisonous.  This specimen is remarkably life-like and seems to be gracefully moving through air.  Needless to say centipedes are very rare in amber.  There is a small sprig of moss along with a few more advanced stamens.

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Item 5

A bee hive.

This is a large piece with many tropical stingless bees around the hive.  A very special and rare fossil.  Bees are rather seldom seen, but the hive - that is a special uniqueness!  My guess is that you will never see anything like this before and never will in the future.

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Item 6

A rather interesting piece of clear amber.  Almost 1/4 of a pound, (105 grams) this clear piece of Chiapas amber will get anyone's attention when you place it on your desk. While it does have small animals, 4 worker ants, Hymenoptera. Formicidae, a stingless bee and a fungus gnat, Mycetophiliae, the beauty of this are not the animals but the actual chunk of amber itself.  For that reason we are pricing this below the 'per gram' cost.


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

If you recognize the body shape, then you know that this is a mayfly,  Emphemeridae.  This is a male since the cerci are so  long.  This  specimen with all threeboth of the  cerci intact.   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, in fact I would consider this a museum piece it is so perfect.

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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

Mayflies are VERY rare, Ephemeroptera, Baetidae  Their lifespan is so short (often less than 24 hours) that they do not have time to get stuck in resin.  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 then die.  These are rare and command a very high price.  There is one nice mayfly that has a transparent body.  Not far away is a caddis fly, Trichoptera.

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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

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.

This particular specimen has a fracture running through the animal. This is a natural fracture and not glued or put back together by a human. In fact it is this fracture that makes it an affordable item. Otherwise see number 21 on this page. This is a very rare specimen. The price is phenomenal.


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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 rare.  They 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

Here is another one of those pieces that just jumps out at you. The animal is large, in fact this is a planthopper, Hemiptera, Fulgoridea looks like it could just fly right out of the amber. Really impressive. A planthopper you just have to love.

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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 someones collection.

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Item 22

This is an unbelievable piece.  The planthopper, Homoptera, Fulgoroidea is large and has it's wings spread - just a wonderful sight.  It is so rare to see such a large insect, and even more so with the wings spread like this.  There even is a large cricket behind the cicada.  Off to the side are 2 fungus gnats, Mycetophilidae and even a poorly preserved stingless bee.  This is the type of piece that you will be showing your friends.

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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

I am going to throw out some wild speculations on this, but the bottom line is, I do not know what it is.  This is a nice sized, almost like a dice piece of Chiapas amber.  Inside are two spherical objects.  they seem to be different, one is smoother and one is stippled.  If I did not know any better, I would guess that one was the outside of a spiny sea urchin or even a clam  (it is not).  The other reminds me of an open and empty seed casing.

I have been told that this is, Pholadidae, known as piddocks or angelwings, are a family of bivalve molluscs similar to a clam.  This is early Miocene amber of Simojovel de Allende, Chiapas. Pholadidea is a taxonomic genus of marine bivalve molluscs in the subfamily Martesiinae of the family Pholadidae (the piddocks).   It has been perceived that its study allows us to demonstrate an estuarine environment during its deposit.   The  piece is an unbelievably beautiful and complete set of 2 of the bivalves.  Rare, rare, rare.

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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

There must have been a lot of bees swarming together when this accident happened 20 million years ago.  Dozens of bees along a single plane were caught in this event.  The bees are tropical stingless bees, Hymenoptera,  Family Meliponini, Genus, Proplebeia, Species, dominicana.

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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

A particularly nice piece of amber, large and good sized.  There are a number of large winged termites scattered around this piece.  It does have an unfortunate stress fracture across the middle - but it detracts not at all from the beauty of this showpiece.  It is priced accordingly.

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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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