Une pièce d'ambre baltique avec un moustique fossilisé à l'intérieur. © RomanVX, Adobe Stock

A new species of wasp has been discovered trapped in fossilized amber dating back 30 million years ago. Found in the Dominican Republic, it is accompanied by an unidentified flower and a fly larva.

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This is an unexpected discovery: Two new species discovered enclosed in amber ! Found in the same fragment in the Dominican Republic, its age has been estimated at around 30 million years. The new flower has just been described in a study published in the journal Historical Biologywhile the wasp was previously described in a 2020 study in the journal Biosis: Biological systems. latter, named Hambletonia dominicana belongs to the Encyrtids, a group of wasps parasites known to attack a variety of More…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/c/3/4/c3449c7cc8_49335_def-insect-mariea-flickr.jpg ” data-url=”https://news.google.com/planete/definitions/classification-vivant-insect-2305/” data-more=”Read more”>insectsand even to ticks !

The flower, on the other hand, belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family, which grows all over the world, but mainly in the tropical regions of the American continent. “Fossil flowers from members of this family are quite raresaid George Poinar Jr., first author of both studies and a researcher at Oregon State University. I have only been able to find one previously known fossil from sedimentary deposits in Tennessee. »

Dominican amber is particularly transparent

corresponds to amber petrified resin, secreted by ancient conifers millions of years ago. The fragment found was in the mines of the Northern Cordilleras in the Dominican Republic, which are known to harbor some of the ancient resinstree the most transparent in the world. The flower inside was named Plukenetia minima, and corresponds to the very first flower of the genus Plukenetia found on the island of Hispaniola. Small and long-stalked, it is no accident that he is in the company of wasps and fly larvae!

“In many cases, unrelated organisms happen to be buried together in the amber.said G. Poinar. But I get the impression that in this case the wasp was attracted to the flower, either to obtain nectar or to try to lay an egg on the capsule containing the fly larva. The wasp egg would then hatch, enter the pod and engulf the fly larva, allowing the wasp to survive in the ecological niche created by the vegetation and flower heads of Plukenetia. »

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