Unusual Horsehoe Crab Beetle in Dominican Amber

Fossil Amber

Coleoptera Family Ptiliidae

Geological Time: Oligocene-Miocene

Size (25.4mm = 1 inch): Amber: 8 mm long 12 mm across, Insect: 1 mm, Botanical: 2 mm

Fossil Site: Region near Santiago, Dominican Republic

Code: DA2028

Price: Sold

Horsehoe Crab Beetle in Dominican AmberDescription: This amber piece displays an unusual beetle, known colloquially as a horseshoe crab beetle. Once placed in the Limulodidae (after Limulus the horseshoe crab), , they have recently been assigned to a different family. There are less than 40 extant species in 5 genera, all of which are associated with ants. The armored shell would provide protection and at least some exude pheromones that ward simulate those released by the ants. There is also a botanical inclusion: a fragment of bryophyte. Today’s examples are members of the mosses, hornworts, and liverworts. This fragment is readily apparent. The beetle is near the edge and will take some maneuvering with the aid of a loupe to discover its hiding place.

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