Chiapas Amber (Mexico)

Item 1

Shells of terrestrial snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata and Prosobranchia) are rare in amber.  Shells of terrestrial snails in Mexican amber have been identified as Spiraxis sp. (Spiraxidae), a member of the Ferussaciidae.   Shells are some of the rarest fossils in amber.  They are normally very small and very rare.

Snails are indicative of a tropical or subtropical climates which  include Hispaniola and other Antillean islands in their present-day ranges.

This particular piece of amber reminds me of a brick. It is about 2 inches long by .75 x .75 inches.   Quite an attractive piece of amber.

Here is a scanned image of the snail next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.


Item 2

I sometimes find in amazing what is really found in amber.  Here is a piece with a lot of mammalian hair.  Looks like a rather good sized tuft of hair was yanked out of the mammal when it brushed up against the tree (and pulled away from the tree).

In addition to all the hair follicles, there are a bunch of animals in the amber.  Looks like a planthopper, Homoptera, Fulgoridea next to the hair.  There are some springtails in the hair.  The springtails are large, not like the normal small ones.  Not far away is a half dozen or more of tropical stingless bees, Hymenoptera,  Apidae:Melipodidae.  On the bees, you can even see the facets of the eyes.  They are beautiful.

There is even a biting midge, Diptera, Chironopdidae,  what may be a pleasing fungus beetle, Coleoptera, Erotylidae, an unknown beetle larvae and a lot more (even has a fungus gnat).  This is a large piece of amber 2 inches x 1.5 x 1 inch,  44 grams is weight.

A beautiful piece that will be cherished since it tells such an interesting story and is in such good shape.  By the way, this is priced very well, you will never find a better and/or cheaper specimen.

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Item 3

There are a lot of things that I really like in amber, spider's webs are at the top of the list.  It is just cool stuff.  This piece has a lot of the spider web still in the amber.....not all pushed together, but as if someone gently laid down the web in the resin.   Not only that, but the spider is here also.  This is a fantastic piece.

It is about 1.5 x 1 x .5 inches in size and weighs 10 grams.  There is what looks like part of an amber tube in this piece.

You are going to love this piece.  Fun to investigate where the web strands really go.  Enjoy.

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Item 4


Try as you may, you will never see another mushroom up for sale.  It seems that since they are soooo rare, every mushroom is worth a write up in any scientific journal.  and this one is so good.

In the forest floor, here and there among the lichens and mosses flourished mushrooms and strange branching clusters of fungi know as dead man's fingers.  The fruiting structures of these fungi probably never lasted for more than a day or two, just long enough for them to release spores.  This tiny mushroom is probably one of the smallest members of the inky cap family,  It probably was clustered together with others of its kind on the bark of the algarrobo tree.

Mushrooms are just so rare that I never thought I would have one up for sale- not to mention that this is a beautiful specimen.

Here is a scanned image of the mushroom next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.

Hard to believe, but the price on this rare, rare specimen is fantastic (to the good).



Item 5

I love this piece.  It is a spider, but it reminds me of an octopus (it is a spider!).  Great shape to the amber and while the spider is not large, it is easily seen.  This could be made into a nice pendant.

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Item 6

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.  You specimens are often carried on the back of the mothers until they become mature.

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.


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Item 7

Dragon flies, Odonata, are just not normally found in amber.  Their numbers world-wide are VERY small - just a handful.  Here we present a nice dragonfly (Chiapas amber)  where the body is long-ways and the wings are almost perpendicular to the body.  The abdomen appears to be hollow.

This specimen is one of our own collection.  Of course you can see the world's largest collection of dragonflies in amber.

You probably have never even seen a dragonfly in amber - but here it is.


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Item 8

I have never seen a flower like this one.  It looks like a delicate flower floating in a sea of amber.  This specimen is one that catches your eye and then your imagination.   Not the slightest idea what type of flower, this is a lacy, 'floating' delicate specimen in a very clear piece of Chiapas amber.  You will enjoy all the pictures of this one.

Now to add a bit of mystery to this offer: right on top of the flower (and not attached to it) is an unknown artifact.  I have looked carefully at this and I really think it may be a scale.  Furthermore, it looks like a ganoid scale.  I highly doubt it is, but going back to my college days, that is what I was taught they looked like.  Maybe this is just a scale from a reptilian?  It is very unusual and I am not sure.

This is quite the piece.  Even without the "scale" this is one specimen that captures your eye and you cannot look away.  I do not know any other way to state it.  The large picture at the bottoms shows the position of the scale relative to the flower.

Here is a scanned image of the flower next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.

Pieces like this do not come along very often.  Special is an understatement.  Enjoy looking at the pictures.



Item 9

Item 10

Sometimes people think there is nothing special about a 'simple' fly.  This is beautiful!  the details are unbelievable - the eyes.......  This is a piece that is shaped perfectly for a pendant.  A band of silver or gold and a clasp - this is it.

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Item 11

Fascinating - there are so many pieces of wood from the beetle larvae, it is just unreal.  this is a coolest frass that I have seen.  I am not even going to ID the beetle larvae (beetle larvae are hard to ID for me).  You will love this piece!

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Item 12

Mantids (or mantis) are characterized by a lengthened thorax (chest) and a head that can turn 180 degrees.  They typically carry their barbed front legs in an attack position.  It looks like a praying position, giving them the nickname "praying mantis."  They could very well be called "praying mantis" because they are fierce and fearless, attacking prey from insects to small animals like lizards.  The female often devours the male after mating; this also occurs between nymphs.  They are very rare in amber and prized by collectors.

The amber is clear and about 1.25 x 1  x .5 inches.  The mantis is just off center.  The mantis has beautiful features, you can see the facets of the eye (microscope) and the entire body very well. On the other side of the mantis is a fungus gnat, Diptera: Mycetophylidae.  Also there is a medium sized spider.

Here is a scanned image of the praying mantis next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.

Insect Order Phasmida (the stick or leaf insects) is believed to have appeared in the Lower Triassic and is one of the most interesting Orders in Subphylum Insecta. They are a poignant example of the innovation of natural selection in creating stealth for survival. They typically are either stick-like or leaf-like in appearance, (this one is a stick)  a camouflage or mimicry that is their common characteristic; many will also play possum for hours. "Phasmid" is derived from the Latin term for phantom (phasma), and finding them in the wild can be very difficult for even an experienced collector. You might correctly guess then, that fossil Phasmida are exceedingly rare -- hence the paucity of specimens. They do not have their hindlegs adapted for jumping as in the closely related order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, crickets and relatives). Unlike many insects, they make superb pets. A phasmid will usually live from one to two years, depending on the species. Sexual dimorphism is usually extreme with diminutive males. Some species are completely or partially parthenogenetic. They extend their evolutionary stealth to their eggs that are large and often closely resemble plant seeds This allows the females to lay viable eggs without a mate; indeed there are some species in which males are unknown to exist. Some 2500 species of Phasmids are extant.


Item 13

Orthopterans have strong back legs and muscles, features that allow them to jump high and far.  Their thorax looks like a saddle. The organs on both sides of a grasshopper's first abdominal segment are for hearing, while crickets have the hearing organs on their front legs.   Crickets and some grasshoppers rub one front wing against the other to make their well-known rasping sound.

Crickets can be seen is amber since their jumping around makes it easy for them to become victims of resin.  Larger cricket specimens in amber attract many collectors.

This specimen is about 2.25 x 1.25 x .25 inches.  The amber is clear and the cricket is large.  There is a beautiful full leaf in one portion of the amber.

Here is a scanned image of the cricket next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.


Item 14

Mosquitoes are exceedingly rare in amber.  I find mosquitoes maybe 2 times a year.  They are just so rare that I never expect to find any in the many thousands of pieces that I run across.

If you have ever cut down a pine tree and noticed the beautiful smell that emanates from cut surface, you will understand why so many insects are attracted by the odor.  Mosquitoes are not attracted to the smell, the go for carbon dioxide and heat.  Because of that you will not find mosquitoes in amber.  When you do run across the exceptional piece that has a mosquito, it has been caught in the resin  by happen chance, not by design.

In this piece there is a perfect female mosquito (family Culicidae) and a male (possible genus of Culex).  Both sexes have a proboscis, which the males (and sometimes females) use for obtaining plant juices, but the females are blood suckers.  You can ID the mosquito as a male because the antennae are plumose (hairy).  Please note that once seldom sees one mosquito, much less two, much less a male AND a female.  This is just unheard of.  By the way there is another female mosquito in this piece, but it is hard to see and hard to identify.

There is also a lot of other stuff inside this piece.  A couple female worker ants, Hymenoptera, Formicidae, a large wasp, Hymenoptera and a small wasp, 2 fungus gnats, Diptera, Mycetophilidae and a tropical stingless bee.  There are is more inside this amber also.  You are going to have great fun looking at it.

The piece is uniform flat, about .25 inches thick by 2.25  x 1.4 inches.  So this is a nice sized piece.

Here is a scanned image of the snail next to a ruler so you can see the actual size.



Item 15

This is one of the most superior pieces I have ever seen.  There is nothing like this anywhere.  In fact we are willing to state that this will never be found again, that this sets the standard for all  walking sticks found in the future.  This is a very large walking stick in Mexican amber.  The animal is about 2 cm long.  It is something that takes my breath away when I look at it.

This is a very rare walking stick, Phasmatodea located in a very large piece of amber.  This is 139 grams (quarter pound) of pure amber.  This Mexican amber has a good color and a multitude of miscellaneous animals.

Among other things, there are some leaves,  some beetle larvae (one looks like a meal worm larvae (it is not though).   Caddis Fly, Trichoptera, winged termite showing all 4 wings, gnats, lots of spiders and still even more.  This is quite the piece.

The piece is irregular, about 5 inches x 3 x 1 inches.  It weighs 139 grams (about 1/4 pound).  This is a nice sized piece.


Item 16


The Micropezidae are a moderate-sized family of acalyptrate muscoid flies in the insect order Diptera.  Insects in this family are commonly called stilt-legged flies, after their characteristically long legs.

Stilt-legged flies are found in Baltic amber and rarely in Dominican.  As far as I know, there have been no reported occurrences of stilt-legged flies in Mexican (Chiapas) amber.  This is a first.  I also think that this specimen is worthy of a paper due to no reported specimens  in Chiapas amber.

The Stilt-legged fly in this piece is rather large, almost an inch long.

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Item 17

Members of this group are often confused with mayflies.  At rest, adult stoneflies fold their wings flat over their abdomen whereas mayflies usually hold their wings vertically.

Stoneflies are found rarely in amber.  In fact, I know of no other stoneflies in Mexican amber.  They have been identified in Baltic and one has been ID'ed in Burmite amber.  This is the first time I have ever seen an adult stonefly at all.

Stoneflies date back to the Permian and are of interest for their many archaic features.

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Item 18

Orthopterans have strong back legs and muscles, features that allow them to jump high and far.  Their thorax looks like a saddle. The organs on both sides of a grasshopper's first abdominal segment are for hearing, while crickets have the hearing organs on their front legs.   Crickets and some grasshoppers rub one front wing against the other to make their well-known rasping sound.

Crickets can be seen is amber since their jumping around makes it easy for them to become victims of resin.  Larger cricket specimens in amber attract many collectors.

I do believe that this is a nymph of long-horned orthopterans (Ensifera).  The actual cricket, from antennae to end of leg is rather large, almost .5 inches.  That (size description) is misleading since the cricket's leg and antennae are thin.

This specimen is about 1.25 x 1 x .6 inches.  The amber is clear and the cricket is large.  This cricket is in 12.1 grams of beautifully clear Mexican amber.  This is a particularly fine specimen.

Here is a scanned image of the cricket.   This is a nice piece.


Item 19

Fairly clear piece  with an assassin bug.  These are in the family Reduviidae; bloodsucking  conenose, parasitic on mammals.  In 1835 Charles Darwin , in western Argentina was bitten by a similar insect and contracted Chagas' disease.  This particular on might be in the genus Empicoris.

Assassin bugs are in the order Hemiptera (true bugs).  This order has a variety of families that differ greatly from each other in form.  They do however, have common morphological features.  All true bugs, for example, have long beaks  that are used to suck plant juices or body fluids of insects and even mammal blood.

The piece is about 1.0 x 1.6 x .25 inches in size.    There are air bubbles that come in layers.  The layer of the assassin bug is clear, allowing good observation of the animal.

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Item 20

Trombidiidae, also known as red velvet mites, true velvet mites, or rain bugs, are small arachnids found in plant litter and are known for their bright red color.  While this one is not red, the details are very good and the mite is large.  there is also a poorly preserved spider off to the side.

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Item 21

It is interesting that amphipods are found in Mexican amber because they are generally associated with an aquatic or semi aquatic habitat.  They do occur today in warm, moist terrestrial habitats and that is probably the type of environment utilized by the genus found in Mexican amber, Palcogammarus.

The piece of amber is not real large, about .75 x .3 x .3 inches.  The rolly-poly is perfect.  Probably the best I have ever seen in any amber.

If Isopoda is your thing, you will love this piece, it is great.

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Item 22


This is slightly different.  This is a piece that would be perfect to be made into a pendant.  The shape and thickness is perfect for it.  A band of silver or gold or just a clasp at the top - any jeweler can do this.  It has some nice layering and shows well.  On the side is a small but distinct spider.

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Item 23

Pseudoscorpions are the 'poor man's' scorpion.  they are cool, very much like a real scorpion, but MUCH less expensive.  This is a nice one.  the amber is good sized, clear and the pseudoscorpion of big (at least for pseudoscorpions.)  Remember that pseudoscorpions often hitch a ride on large insects to go places.  I have seen a beetle with 2 pseudoscorpions hanging on for dear life.

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Item 24

An interesting piece of amber.  Spherical, about 15mm (bit over 1/2 inch).  there is a lovely insect inside.  My guess is that this is an ichneumon wasp, Diptera, Ichneumonidae.  I admit I am not 100% sure on this ID.  It is rather unusual to have a nice sized insect in a sphere.  By the way, if you did not know, ichneumon wasps lay their eggs in larger insects, and the body of that insect serves as food for the developing larvae.

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Item 25

Looks like a tuft of hair was ripped off this mammal when leaned against some sticky resin from the tree.  Lot of hair, fun to think about and you've got a piece of history.

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Item 26

I do not know why, but once in a blue moon I find flies that have extended mouth parts.  This one though is out of the ball park.  the mouth parts are extremely extended.  I have no idea why (happy to have someone tell me though).  The piece of Chiapas amber is particularly nice, more like a 'rectangle'.  Clear, sharp and easy to see this fly is Diptera, Brachycera.


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Item 27

If you want something special, this might be it.  A necklace and earrings made out of Chiapas amber and blue beads.  Attractive, unusual and affordable.  The necklace is about 24 inches.

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Item 28

A pendant with a spider.  The spider itself is about 1/4 inch in size. the pendant is about 1 inch x 1/2 inch x 1/4 inch.  Scattered throughout the piece is what looks like forest debris - makes it look really interesting and fun to see.

The piece is made of 925 silver and the heavy band goes around the back side of the piece.

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Item 29

Ever wanted a LARGE mosquito - like the ones in Jurassic Park? In the family Culicidae, here it is.  Magnificent specimen showing the large body and a large biting "nose".  This is just a great  piece, something that will make any collection "pop".  This female mosquito is as rare as it gets.

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Item 30

We do not offer rings very often because of unknown sizes.  I do not know this size either - don't let that stop you since this contains a  spider.  Fun piece, great price and just a cool one.  The spider is not huge (smallish).

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Item 31

Here is the 2nd mushroom I have seen on 30 years.  The first is near the top of this page.  They are so rare that I find it hard to believe that I have 2 of them.  This one has a lot of forest debris around it, in fact a lot of what appears to be coprolites.   Good piece, and it is offered here at an unbelievable price.

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Item 32

This is a female parasitic braconid wasp, Hymenoptera, Braoconidae, possibly Doryctinae.  It is a female since you can see the slim ovipositor flanked by  paired oviposital sheaths.  This is a particularly fine specimen, showing great detail.  The amber itself is cut into a "rectangular" shape.

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