Wasp and flower 30 million years old discovered in very good condition

A new species of wasp has been discovered trapped in fossilized amber dating back 30 million years. Found in the Dominican Republic, it is accompanied by an unknown flower and fly larva.

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This is an unexpected discovery: two new species have been discovered Trapped in amber ! Found in the same piece in the Dominican Republic, its age has been estimated to be around 30 million years. The new flower has just been described in a study published in the journal Historical Biologywhile the wasp was already described in a 2020 study in the journal Biosis: biological systems. The latter, named hAmpletonia Dominicana Belongs to the group of encyrtid wasps Parasites Known for attacking a wide range ofinsectseven tick !

On the other hand, the flower belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae, which grows all over the world, but the majority of them are in the tropics of the American continent. Fossil flowers of this family are very raresaid George Poinar, Jr., first author of both studies and a researcher at Oregon State University. I could only find one previously known fossil, from a sedimentary deposit in Tennessee. »

Dominican amber is especially transparent

Corresponds to amber petrified resin, secreted by ancient conifers millions of years ago. It was the part that was found in the northern Cordillera mines in the Dominican Republic, known to contain some ancient resins fromTree The most transparent in the world. The flower in it is named Lower Blokinetia It corresponds to the first flower of the genus Plokinetia It is found on the island of Hispaniola. Small in size and with a long leg, it is not accidental in the company of a hornet and a caterpillar!

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“In many cases, unrelated organisms are buried together in amber by accident.C said. Poinar. But I have the impression that in this case the wasp was attracted to the flower, either to get nectar or to try to lay an egg on the capsule containing the larva of the fly. The wasp egg then hatches, enters the pod and devours the fly larvae, allowing the wasp to survive in the favorable environment created by the plants and flower heads of Plukinetia. »

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About the Author: Octávio Florencio

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