Rare Mayfly In Baltic Amber

Name: Mayfly in Baltic Fossil Amber

Class Insecta; Order Ephemeroptera

Geological Time: Upper Eocene - Lower Oligocene

Size: Amber: 30 mm long, 14 mm across, 1.9 grams

Location: Kaliningrad District, Russia

This fossil amber a member of the Order Ephemeroptera or Mayflies, which are very rare in Baltic amber. The presence of mayflies is indicative of ponds and rivers in the amber forest. After living as aquatic nymphs for one to two years, they live as adults only for a few days, an ephemeral existence indeed. This one is betrayed as a female by virtue of lack of extended eye towers seen in the males. When you only have a few days as an adult, finding a member of the opposite sex to perpetuate the species is of paramount importance; and any advantage would be a valuable trait. This fine example of a rare inclusion is found with a biting midge and a worker ant, making for a fine diverse example of the insects found in the Baltic some 40 million years ago.

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