Chiapas Amber (Mexico)

Item 1

Webspinners are easily differentiated from all other insects by the swollen tarsi of the first pair of legs.  This one is in the order Embiodea, family Anisembiidae.  These contains silk glands which are used to line the galleries in which they live, usually on tree trunks.   Females often have long segments antennae.  Males of most species are wings while the females are wingless. Most webspinners found in amber are males and maybe misidentified for small termites.  Webspinners are rarely found in amber.  In this piece, there are a few wasps, Hymenoptera and the webspinner is a male.  The body is curved as if it was climbing on some resin and immediately was covered again.

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Item 2

Termite nests contain an assortment of different arthropods adapted to living in these confined habitats.  Some,  like the termite bug here, Termitaradus: Termitaradidae:Hemiptera, live nowhere else except termite chambers.  they are strongly modified for this type of existence.  The body is flattened and used as a shield to protect the head and appendages.  They are thought to feed on fungi.

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Item 3

Earwigs, Class Hexapoda, Oder: Dermaptera, Family, Forficulidae. are easily identified by their elongate bodies, long antennae and by their distinctive pair of un-segmented forceps-like pincers (cerci) at the tip of the abdomen.  The hind wings are large, membranous and have a unique folding mechanism, but these are rarely seen.  You can actually see one pair of wings in this specimen.  The wing is extended which is a VERY rare sight.  Earwigs are rare in amber, let alon those with wings wide open.

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Item 4

I love this oneReminds me of Jurassic Park.  This pendant holds a crane fly, Diptera, Tipulidae.  Looks perfect......and it is.  Made from pure silver (925).


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Item 5

A different cut of amber.  Some sides are not polished, the important sides are polished.   A very nice effect.  There are air bubbles that do not seem to move inside the larger air bubbles.  Fun piece.

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Item 6

This clear piece of amber has a beautiful example of a male, winged ant, Hymenoptera, Formicidae.  There is also a hard to see ant on another plane (level of amber resulting from the amber flow.  Also an unknown insect.

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Item 7

I love this piece.  The details of the bee are fantastic!  Order, Hymenoptera, Family, Apidae:Meliponini, Genus Proplebeia.  This is stingless bee also known as meliponines and they are closely related to honey bees and bumblebees.  It is from this genus that the first claims of DNA extraction from amber fossils were made, although subsequent  attempts to replicate the extraction process proved unsuccessful and the initial claims  are now considered to have been in error.  There is a small planthopper, Homoptera, family Delphacidae and a wasp.

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Item 8

At first, I bought this because I though it was a feather.  I remember standing out in the mine looking at the piece, getting excited since feathers are sooooo rare in amber.  When I look at it under a microscope, I do not think it is a feather.  Thus, the price reflects that sad thought. By the way, I paid a lot for this piece!


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Item 9

I am pretty sure that this is a flat bark beetle, family Cucujidae.  The very flat form enables this beetle to move freely under bark.  Just under 1.5 inches in length and fairly flat, this clear piece is perfect by itself or "re-made" to be a pendant.

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$ 175

Item 10

This is one of those  pieces that I shutter when I have to describe it!  There is sooooo much inside.  This is an amber donut, 2 inches wide by almost 1 inch thick.  the center hole is about .5 inches wide.  Now here is the harder part to describe - there are about 4 mosquitos (so rare that a mosquito commands hundreds of dollars each).  Lots of termite wings and also termites, flies, millipede, gnats, if you can think it, you will probably find it.  There is even a bee fly, Bombyliidae.  I see this as an impressive necklace.  Put a  a dark, thick rope through the hole and this will be one of the coolest necklaces you have ever seen.


Item 11

Mosquitos in amber are so rare.  Because of that, they are very, very expensive.  Mosquitos are not normally found in amber since the young resin does not attract mosquitos like it does for other insects.  this female mosquito in fair shape.  You can see the proboscis and the body, but they are not as clear as the thousand dollar specimens.

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Item 12

A butterfly.  These are rather rare and highly sought after.  You can see patterns of scales on the wings, giving a nice affect.   At the tip of the abdomen are two protruding structures.  I do not know what they are, but would guess that they are  the aedeagus (male reproductive structures.)  You just do not see butterflies very often.

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Item 13

True bug, Order Hemiptera. This is a nymph of a stink bug, Pentatomidae.  These ovoid shaped bugs feed mostly on plants, but some are predaceous.  They are called stink bugs because a characteristic odor is produced when they are handled.

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Item 14

This is a beautiful piece of Chiapas amber.  It has a rare pseudoscorpion .  The pseudoscorpion is small and is on the side.   The piece is very clear and you can see the pseudoscorpion.   It is good (even though the pseudoscorpion is small).

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Item 15

While I know the first thing one  sees in this piece of amber is part of a chewed leaf, that is not special thing that is inside.  Again, I have mentioned how the wings on earwigs fold like origami.  It is a special fold that defies what is normal when you actually see the wing unfold.  The wing is visible in this specimen!  Earwigs (Order, Dermaptera)are rare, wings unfolded are rarer.  This is a good piece.   On one side it looks like hair (don't think this is hair though - fibers from a plant?)  There is also a sap beetle, Coleoptera, Family, Nitidulidae

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Item 16

The Emesinae, or thread-legged bugs, are a subfamily of the Reduviidae (i.e., assassin bugs). They are conspicuously different from the other reduviids by their very slender body form. They are stalking, predatory insects.  This fossil reduviid is from the Middle Miocene Mexican amber from the Simojovel Mexico.  the thread-legged bugs are rare - and this is a very rare animal in amber.

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Item 17

Good sized piece of amber, clear with a few bits of the forest floor trapped inside.  I am going to label this a moth, but it does look like a butterfly to me.  The 'moth' is good sized, about 1/4 of an inch.  Good piece.

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Item 18

Mating fungus gnats for 24 million years!  About an inch long, thin, this contains 2 fungus gnats, Diptera, Mycetophilidae mating (in-copuli).  A rare an beautiful piece.  Stunning visually, this is would make a very unusual pendant.

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Item 19

You want perfection -you've got it.  The is a perfectly clear piece of amber with a beautiful tropical stingless bee, Hymenoptera, Family, Apidae:Meliponini, Genus, Proplebeia, Species,  dominicana.

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Item 20

Planthopper in Amber

This is a good one, a beautiful rosary made from sterling silver and Mexican amber.  When I laid it out and measured the total length, it is 18 inches.

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Item 21

A rose by any other name.  This rose pendant is carved from red amber with a gold attachment.  It is about 1.1 inches x 1 inch x 0.24 inches in size.  This is just a wonderful piece.


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Item 22

Nice example of a compound leaf, maybe a legume?  I certainly get a kick when I see something as beautiful as this.

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Item 23

For 20 million years these two true midges have been making love.  This act of procreation was immortalized when they became entangled in sticky resin.   There are two true midges, Nematocera, Family Chironomidae:Orthocladiinae.  The amber is a bit less than .5 x .5 x .5 inches - this is cubical.  Needless to say, this is rare.

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Item 24

Rare:  part of a bee's nest along with a single tropical stingless bee, Hymenoptera, Family, Apidae:Meliponini, Genus, Proplebeia, Species, dominicana.  While you might find a bee, you never find part of it's nest.

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Item 25

I am not sure on this one but it certainly looks like a nematode coming out of the abdomen of this midge.  I always find nematodes coming out of animals fascinating (I know, I am strange.) Might be a small caddis fly off to the side.   Looks like a plant fiber at this spot.  Two sides of the amber are not well polished.

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Item 26

A nice sized and very clear piece of amber.  This has a rather large mite (at least I think it is a mite...not tick.....I always find these hard to distinguish).  There is also a midge, Chironomidae.

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Item 27

You have to wonder what type of mammal rubbed up against this sticky resin 20 million years ago.  Nice clear piece showing mammalian hairs.

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Item 28

Sometimes it is just cool to get a nice piece of amber with an easily seen insect.  This one is has a nice wasp on one side, Hymenoptera.

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Item 29

Pretty sure this piece of Chiapas amber has 2 mushrooms in it.  The one, and easiest to see, looks like the dorsal surface of the mushroom is on the top surface of the amber.  You can see the gills and other good details.  The other mushroom is at an edge and is harder to see.

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Item 30

An extremely attractive piece of amber with a single soldier beetle, Coleoptera, Family, Cantharidae.  This is just one of those really good pieces.

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Item 31

The Heteroptera are a group of about 40,000 species of insects in the order Hemiptera. They are sometimes called "true bugs", though that name more commonly refers to the Hemiptera as a whole. "Typical bugs" might be used as a more unequivocal alternative, since the heteropterans are most consistently and universally termed "bugs" among the Hemiptera.  Just a nice piece showing a good true bug.

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Item 32

Just a lovely roach, Blattidae.  So easily seen and the details are very good.  This one is a winner.

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Item 34

You want something unusual, look no further.  This one is amazing.  The most beautiful animal is a Cicadellidae leafhopper, looks a little like Mileewinae.  But wait, there is more.  A nice winged termite....and even what looks like the impression of a stonefly, Plecoptera.  There are the usual small beetle, fly and a few others like midges, but the stonefly and leafhopper are really cool.

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Item 35

An interesting group of fossils.  These were found at the Monte Cristo mines near Chiapas, Mexico right next to the layer where the amber is found.


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