Chiapas Amber (Mexico)
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.
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.
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.
The insect family Nabidae contains the damsel bugs. They are soft-bodied, elongate, winged terrestrial predators. Many damsel bugs catch and hold prey with their forelegs, similar to mantids. They are in the Order Hemiptera, Suborder, Heteroptera, Infraorder, Cimicomorpha, Family Nabidae. This is a particularly fine specimen.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.