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.
There is a small zoo inside this piece. The highlighted specimen is a mayfly, Order: Ephemeroptera, Family, Leptophlebiidae. The life history of mayflies is quite remarkable. Most species spend approximately one year as an aquatic nymph, but the adult lives only for a matter o minutes or days, depending on the species. The primary function of the adult is reproduction. In contrast to Baltic amber, mayflies in Mexican amber are rather rare. This amber contains 2 caddis flies, Trichoptera and a mass of what looks like hair (rare). There is also a bark-gnawing beetle, Coleoptera, Ostomatidae. Finally there are some https://www.ambericawest.com/images/chiapas5/4c.jpg, Chironomidae
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!
Pseudoscorpions are small animals, Order Pseudoscorpiones, Family, Geogarypidae. Their large pair of pincers (pedipalps) look like a crab's, catching victims and injecting them with silk from their pincers. This silk is also used for making cocoons. There is a large ant, Hymenoptera, Formicidae and a springtail, Collembola. The springtail is large (for springtails.....which are small). The pseudoscorpion is viewed from the edge of the semi-flat piece of Chiapas amber.
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.
As I have mentioned before, mosquitos in amber are rare, very rare. This is a beautiful mosquito. You can see the body, wings and proboscis easily. A very good specimen. Mosquitos are attracted by heat, smell and carbon dioxide, not from the order of resin secreted from trees. So to capture one, it has to be in a spot that is not 'normal' for a mosquito. There is also a wasp and possible polyxenid millipede.
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
Now this one is cool - a house centipede, Scutigeromorpha. It is not difficult at all to recdognize these centipedes with their long legs. Adult house centipedes have 15 pairs of legs, though only seven at birth. They add one pair of legs each time they mold, making their age apparent simply by counting the number of legs. House centipedes are seldom found in amber. The centipede is small, but just a beautiful animal. Short video 1 and short video 2.
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.