a Super Rare Sawfly (probable male Argid) with tuning fork antennae
in an authentic Dominican Amber Gemstone
$450.00 No Reserve
"Sawflies are the insects of the suborder Symphyta within the order Hymenoptera alongside ants, bees and wasps. The common name comes from the saw-like appearance of the ovipositor, which the females use to cut into the plants where they lay their eggs. The name is associated especially with the Tenthredinoidea, by far the largest superfamily, with about 7,000 known species; in the entire suborder, there are 8,000 described species in more than 800 genera. The suborder Symphyta is paraphyletic, consisting of several basal groups within the order Hymenoptera.
The primary distinction between sawflies and their relatives – the ants, bees, and wasps – is that the adults lack a "wasp waist", and instead have a broad connection between the abdomen and the thorax. Some sawflies are Batesian mimics of wasps and bees, and the ovipositor can be mistaken for a stinger. Sawflies vary in length, most measuring 2.5 millimetres (0.098 in) to 20 millimetres (0.79 in); the largest known sawfly measured 55 millimetres (2.2 in). The larvae are caterpillar-like, but can be distinguished by the number of prolegs and the absence of crochets in sawfly larvae. The great majority of sawflies are plant-eating, though the members of the superfamily Orussoidea are parasitic. The adults feed on pollen and nectar. Predators include birds, insects and small animals. The larvae of some species have anti-predator adaptations such as regurgitating irritating liquid and clustering together for safety in numbers. Sawflies are hosts to many parasitoids, most of which are Hymenoptera, the rest being Diptera.
Adult sawflies are short-lived, with a life expectancy of 7–9 days, though the larval stage can last from months to years, depending on the species. Parthenogenetic females, which do not need to mate to produce fertilised eggs, are common in the suborder, though many species have males. Sawflies go through a complete metamorphosis with four distinct life stages – egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female uses her ovipositor to drill into plant material (or, in the case of Orussoidea, other insects) and then lays eggs in groups called rafts or pods. After hatching, larvae feed on plants, often in groups. As they approach adulthood, the larvae seek a protected spot to pupate, typically in bark or the soil. Large populations of species such as the pine sawfly can cause substantial damage to economic forestry, while others such as the iris sawfly are important pests in horticulture. Outbreaks of sawfly larvae can defoliate trees and may cause dieback, stunting or death. Sawflies can be controlled through the use of insecticides, natural predators and parasites, or mechanical methods.
Sawflies first appeared 250 million years ago in the Triassic. The oldest superfamily, the Xyeloidea, has existed into the present. Sawflies are distributed globally, though they are more diverse in the northern hemisphere."
Some photos of our amber excavations in the Dominican Republic June 2014
Some photos of our amber excavations in the Dominican Republic March 2014
Some photos of our last amber excavations in the Dominican Republic September 2012
Some photos of our last amber excavations in Asia January 2010 (new top secret location for now)
Some photos of our amber excavations in August 2007 at La Toca and La Bucara amber mines
These are authentic Dominican Amber Gemstone was excavated in the La Bucara, La Toca or El Valle amber mines in the Spring of 2016.
In the Dominican Republic, Hymenaea trees are called Algorrobo. The Hymenaea tree exudes vast amounts of resin which over millions of years of pressure hardens into amber. Generally amber is found because a landslide along a steep slope in the mountains exposes veins of black lignite. If the lignite contains amber it is gradually extracted by digging along the vein with picks and shovels. After the amber is found it is chiseled by hand out of the shaft walls, put into burlap sacks and passed out of the mine where it is separated from the rock by machete. Larger chunks of amber make it possible to view inclusions almost immediately by holding the amber up to sunlight to determine if a large inclusion has been discovered. Fossil bearing amber is polished locally.
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We have been collecting amber in the field and prepping rough fossil amber specimens since 1993. Photographs of our specimens have appeared in National Geographic, Nature, Science, Scientific American, Discover, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times and others. We have been featured in PaleoWorld's The Amber Hunters. We offer authentic museum quality Dominican Amber display specimens of rare insects in amber and also authentic rare Dominican rough unprepared amber for sale. Our collections include museum quality rare insects in amber, unusual botanicals and flowers in amber and also rough unprepared Dominican Amber gemstones. We have traveled many times to the Dominican Republic where we have chiseled beautiful amber gemstones out of the lignite layers deep in the amber mines north of Santiago. We have excavated in the Palo Quemado and Los CaCaos blue amber mines and also in La Nueva Toca and the world famous La Toca amber mines way up in the mountains north of Santiago. For many years we have extensively collected mid Cretaceous New Jersey amber in the Raritan formation of central New Jersey and have traveled many times to collect late Cretaceous and early Paleocene amber in the Hanna formation of eastern Wyoming. We have collected mid Cretaceous amber in the Black Creek formation of eastern North Carolina and we have spent weeks collecting mid Cretaceous amber in the northern most Tundra of Alaska. Some of our most recent collecting trips have been in October of 2003 to the western Aleutian Islands some 1000 miles west of Anchorage to explore and collect Miocene amber, August of 2004 and April of 2006 we were back in the Dominican Republic to collect Miocene amber from the Palo Quemado amber mines which have recently closed due to the miners finding little amber, we were back to the Dominican Republic in April of 2006 to video in the La Toca amber mines, and most recently in August of 2007 we excavated in La Toca and La Bucara. The La Toca amber mines had much water whereas on the other ridgeline the La Bucara amber mines were nearly dry! We collected much amber from both La Toca and La Bucara. January 2010 we have collected at a new site of early Eocene amber in Asia. As these specimens are examined and prepared we will post some additional photos of this new locality. Recently we have just returned from excavating amber in the Dominican Republic in March 2014 and June of 2014, and February 2016.
We have donated many hundreds of amber specimens to museums in the United States and have several dozen new species of insects in amber named after us. We have examined several thousand specimens of rough Burmese amber and have prepped many new Burmese fossil amber specimens. We have traveled to Europe with colleagues to examine unusual spectacular Dominican Amber specimens in private collections and we consider the amber curators of the museums in Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and New York City our friends. Exploring for and collecting amber along with the examination and research of amber is our passion.
Our amber comes direct from the Dominican Republic amber mines east of the world famous La Toca amber mine. These specimens do not go through any middle men, we acquire these specimens from the miners and mine owners directly at the amber mines.