Supremely Rare Cretaceous Praying Mantis in Fossil Amber

Mantis in Fossil Amber (praying mantis)

Class Insecta, Order Mantodea

Geological Time: Late Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~ 100 million years ago)

Size: Amber: 25 mm long by 18 mm across, Inclusion: 6 mm (with antennae)

Fossil Site: Hukawng Valley, Kachin State, Myanmar

Code: MYA21

Price: Sold

Supremely Rare Cretaceous Praying Mantis in Fossil AmberDescription: This plaque of amber displays a most uncommon inclusion: a praying mantis. The oldest amber containing insects comes from the deposits of Lebanon at some 135 million years of age. Deposits in Myanmar, New Jersey, and Japan are somewhat younger. Until recently mantids have been found in all but Myanmar, albeit generally only as a single sample. The AMNH publication referenced below did not even list a single example of the Mantodea. This immature mantis is nearly complete, and shows the antennae and the raptorial forelegs well. Mantis specimens of any age are rare, with this one some 60 million years older than any Baltic material and some 75 million years older than the few from the Dominican Republic.

Also see: Cretaceous Jersimantis luzzii praying mantis in amber and  Pseudoscorpion in Cretaceous Fossil Amber

Reference: AMNH Novitates, No. 3361,Mar 26, 2002.

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