Baltic Amber Biting Midge Swarm

Name: Fossil Amber Insects: Diptera, Family Ceratopogonidae

Age: Upper Eocene - Lower Oligocene

Size: (25.4mm=1 inch): Amber: 29 mm long , 17 mm across , 3.2 grams. Inclusions: 1mm

Location: Kaliningrad District, Russia

Description: This amber piece displays a number of examples of the Diptera. Biting Midges are also known as Punkies. Modern-day examples are called No-See-Ums due to their minute size. They pack a powerful bite, however, and can be quite pesky. 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 larger Baltic amber specimen holds a swarm of five of these pesky midges, and uncommon multiple.

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