Large Fossil Amber Dipteran

Name: Fossil Amber Insects: Dark Winged Fungus Gnat Family Sciaridae

Geological Time: Upper Eocene - Lower Oligocene

Size: (25.4mm=1 inch): Amber: 19 mm long , 15 mm across , 1.1 grams. Inclusion: 6 mm

Fossil Site: Kaliningrad District, Russia

Description: This amber piece displays an uncommonly large example of a member of the Diptera. The term Diptera means “two-winged” and is actually a misnomer. Most members have a second, vestigial pair of wings that are mere knobs which are used as a “gyroscope” to keep the insect level in flight. This one is a dark-winged fungus gnat which, unlike many Baltic inclusions, is readily visible to the unaided human eye. The larvae of fungus gnats feed upon decaying vegetation, hence the common name.

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