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GeschWhat

I just received this amazing piece of Burmese amber yesterday. The seller thought the long strands were pine needles, but I think they are segmented coprolites from an insect/larva similar to that of the modern sawfly larva. While, I'm pretty good at spotting fossilized fecal matter, I'm not so good at bugs. I'm hoping someone here can help me ID the insects and mite so that I can confirm this dates to the Cretaceous.

 

1. Can anyone tell me what this one is? It was identified by the seller as a sand fly. I'm hoping the terminal appendages (hopefully I'm using the correct terminology) might be diagnostic.

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Flying_Insect.thumb.jpg.00bb1a99e79062c348d4617aa1162f15.jpg

 

 

2. Next is this little flying insect (the wings are really hard to see), that was identified by the seller as a wasp. It looks more like a flying ant to me, but I know next to nothing about bugs.

Burmese_Amber_Ant.thumb.jpg.cbb5a205ad02d1fcabed2001a13313c6.jpg

 

3. This one looks like a mite to me, but was not mentioned by the seller.

Burmese_Amber_Mite.jpg.ef82580432134ff39556939db58727b6.jpg

 

4. The boxy shape of this one looks like a smaller version of what I've seen identified as "bark beetle" in Dominican amber. However, I haven't been able to find anything similar Burmese amber.

Burmese_Amber_Unidentified_Insect.thumb.jpg.4e4c92c8950f5523c599a97157701611.jpg

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GeschWhat

Here are photos of what I believe are segmented fecal strings from some sort of larva or caterpillar. Their fibers seem to be too willy nilly (highly technical term :)) to be pine needs IMHO.

 

 

 

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_1.jpg

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_2.jpg

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_3.jpg

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_4_Pyrite.jpg

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GeschWhat

Here is a photo of the enhydro and a LINK to the video.

Burmese_Amber_Enhydro.jpg

 

 

 

 

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doushantuo

Grimaldi or Engel of the American museum of natural History might know,or else George poinar

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GeschWhat
7 minutes ago, doushantuo said:

Grimaldi or Engel of the American museum of natural History might know,

They are so busy, I hate to bother them. 

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GeschWhat
3 minutes ago, doushantuo said:

the second one looks vaguely dryinid,but heck,what do I know?

Most likely more than I do :D

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doushantuo

ricinuleids in ASian amber :

77tr35jal.jpg

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Darktooth

Taste Test!:D

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GeschWhat
2 minutes ago, Darktooth said:

Taste Test!:D

LOL...I draw the line at bugs, thank you. The ricinuleids do remind me a bit of softshell crabs they put in po boys down in New Orleans. They looked too much like fried insects on a bun - I couldn't bring myself to try them. 

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Darktooth

Not even in the name of science? Come on! I expected better from you!:P

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GeschWhat
1 hour ago, doushantuo said:

ricinuleids in ASian amber :

77tr35jal.jpg

I wish I could get photos like that through my microscope. Mine was taken through the 40X lens, which I think is a little defective since it makes everything look a little cloudy. I ordered a bunch of books on amber yesterday. Hopefully, I will find something useful in those. We could really use some amber entomology experts here on the forum.

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Innocentx

Agree that the 'strands' look way more like poop than a pine needle. Lower right especially looks to be made of digested debris.Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_3.thumb.jpg.a066fe2d99e1ad9b34847bb9707b0648.jpg.08fa2108c25ff9c83517c10a61b0416e.jpg

 

Perhaps seller didn't have access to magnifier.

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GeschWhat
6 minutes ago, Darktooth said:

Not even in the name of science? Come on! I expected better from you!:P

I did eat a dried worm on one of the digs a few years back, but I was plastered. Literally. I had tripped and ended up wearing the wet plaster I was carrying. I had to cut my hair to get the plaster out. Back at camp, someone had brought dried worms, so I figured what the heck. Beer may have been involved back at base camp. :P

IMG_0326.JPG

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GeschWhat
6 minutes ago, Innocentx said:

Agree that the 'strands' look way more like poop than a pine needle. Lower right especially looks to be made of digested debris.Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_3.thumb.jpg.a066fe2d99e1ad9b34847bb9707b0648.jpg.08fa2108c25ff9c83517c10a61b0416e.jpg

 

Perhaps seller didn't have access to magnifier.

That is what I thought as well. Thanks for confirming. I suspected but wasn't sure if they were coprolites when I bought them. The seller had some pretty good shots, but I think they were at a little lower magnification with different lighting (one below). I have bought a lot of Dominican amber with coprolites from him in the past. I don't think he has been selling the Burmese variety long. Even if I was wrong, I figured it was worth the price just for the enhydro. I love anything unusual. :)

s-l1600.jpg

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Tidgy's Dad
2 hours ago, GeschWhat said:

I just received this amazing piece of Burmese amber yesterday. The seller thought the long strands were pine needles, but I think they are segmented coprolites from an insect/larva similar to that of the modern sawfly larva. While, I'm pretty good at spotting fossilized fecal matter, I'm not so good at bugs. I'm hoping someone here can help me ID the insects and mite so that I can confirm this dates to the Cretaceous.

 

1. Can anyone tell me what this one is? It was identified by the seller as a sand fly. I'm hoping the terminal appendages (hopefully I'm using the correct terminology) might be diagnostic.

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Flying_Insect.thumb.jpg.00bb1a99e79062c348d4617aa1162f15.jpg

 

 

2. Next is this little flying insect (the wings are really hard to see), that was identified by the seller as a wasp. It looks more like a flying ant to me, but I know next to nothing about bugs.

Burmese_Amber_Ant.thumb.jpg.cbb5a205ad02d1fcabed2001a13313c6.jpg

 

3. This one looks like a mite to me, but was not mentioned by the seller.

Burmese_Amber_Mite.jpg.ef82580432134ff39556939db58727b6.jpg

 

4. The boxy shape of this one looks like a smaller version of what I've seen identified as "bark beetle" in Dominican amber. However, I haven't been able to find anything similar Burmese amber.

Burmese_Amber_Unidentified_Insect.thumb.jpg.4e4c92c8950f5523c599a97157701611.jpg

Yes, male sandflies from the family Phlebotomidae have this arrangement at the posterior of the abdomen.

2. is a parasitic wasp. Note the long segmented antennae for detecting prey or hosts for the eggs and also the thin section connecting the thorax and abdomen.

3. I think it's a louse. A mite should have 8 legs and this seems to have only the six. Though not sure, it's not very clear. 

4. Looks like the larval stage of something, but i'm not sure what. 

All beautiful specimens. :)

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Tidgy's Dad
2 hours ago, GeschWhat said:

Here are photos of what I believe are segmented fecal strings from some sort of larva or caterpillar. Their fibers seem to be too willy nilly (highly technical term :)) to be pine needs IMHO.

Burmese_Amber_Segmented_Coprolite_3.jpg

 

Pine needles are very smooth even under magnification.

Image result for pine needle magnified

I think you're right and this is poop, but I don't know from what. 

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Tidgy's Dad
57 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

LOL...I draw the line at bugs, thank you. The ricinuleids do remind me a bit of softshell crabs they put in po boys down in New Orleans. They looked too much like fried insects on a bun - I couldn't bring myself to try them. 

You draw the line at bugs, but bug poop would be fine? :headscratch:

:D

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Tidgy's Dad
41 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

I did eat a dried worm on one of the digs a few years back, but I was plastered. Literally. I had tripped and ended up wearing the wet plaster I was carrying. I had to cut my hair to get the plaster out. Back at camp, someone had brought dried worms, so I figured what the heck. Beer may have been involved back at base camp. :P

IMG_0326.JPG

I've eaten shed loads of insects, including things like those. 

Some of them are delicious! 

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The insect frass is definitely insect frass, from a herbivorous insect, but it might not be larval. Some of my phasmids produce something similar. All I would be confident in saying is that it comes from a leaf eating insect.

The "larval" stages of mites have six legs, they get their last pair as an adult, so your mite could be.

The last one looks a bit like a thrip, but I'm not sure if there were Cretaceous thrips

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GeschWhat
10 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Yes, male sandflies from the family Phlebotomidae have this arrangement at the posterior of the abdomen.

2. is a parasitic wasp. Note the long segmented antennae for detecting prey or hosts for the eggs and also the thin section connecting the thorax and abdomen.

3. I think it's a louse. A mite should have 8 legs and this seems to have only the six. Though not sure, it's not very clear. 

4. Looks like the larval stage of something, but i'm not sure what. 

All beautiful specimens. :)

Thank you! Do you see anything that would identify them as Cretaceous?

 

6 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

You draw the line at bugs, but bug poop would be fine? :headscratch:

:D

Only the fossilized variety...it is just rock after all :D. I worked at an outdoor expo a couple of weeks ago. This guy was telling me that he had licked fossil poop when he was working with a bunch of kids. I guess he got really sick the next day and was convinced that he had contracted some prehistoric disease. At the time he hadn't thought about how many germy little hands had touch it before he licked it. 

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Tidgy's Dad
10 minutes ago, GeschWhat said:

Thank you! Do you see anything that would identify them as Cretaceous?

 

Only the fossilized variety...it is just rock after all :D. I worked at an outdoor expo a couple of weeks ago. This guy was telling me that he had licked fossil poop when he was working with a bunch of kids. I guess he got really sick the next day and was convinced that he had contracted some prehistoric disease. At the time he hadn't thought about how many germy little hands had touch it before he licked it. 

I know a little about modern insects, but very, very little about fossil ones, so i couldn't say if they're Cretaceous or not.  

I must admit, that although I have eaten all sorts of very peculiar things, I have never licked a coprolite. 

Not that I'm squeamish or afraid of contracting a prehistoric or modern disease, but just not got round to it. 

I will try to remember and lick some this week. :)

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GeschWhat
13 minutes ago, Taogan said:

The insect frass is definitely insect frass, from a herbivorous insect, but it might not be larval. Some of my phasmids produce something similar. All I would be confident in saying is that it comes from a leaf eating insect.

The "larval" stages of mites have six legs, they get their last pair as an adult, so your mite could be.

The last one looks a bit like a thrip, but I'm not sure if there were Cretaceous thrips

I had to look up phasmids. Amazing looking creatures! I haven't yet found any really good pictures of their droppings, but this one seems to fit. I would bet there are a number of insects that have similar droppings. I found one photo of bee droppings that seemed to have a similar shape, though it appeared much more homogeneous due to their diet. I had never heard of thrips before. Thank you, it gives me something else to look into. When I first saw the last one, I thought of the leafhoppers I always see in the grass - though likely too large.

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GeschWhat
7 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I know a little about modern insects, but very, very little about fossil ones, so i couldn't say if they're Cretaceous or not.  

I must admit, that although I have eaten all sorts of very peculiar things, I have never licked a coprolite. 

Not that I'm squeamish or afraid of contracting a prehistoric or modern disease, but just not got round to it. 

I will try to remember and lick some this week. :)

With all the coprolites you receive, I thought for sure you would have licked one or two. Something to aspire to :)

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Tidgy's Dad
Just now, GeschWhat said:

With all the coprolites you receive, I thought for sure you would have licked one or two. Something to aspire to :)

I am quite looking forward to it. 

Gives me something to look forward to this week. ;)

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