Aquatic Insects in Baltic Amber

Wilfried Wichard, Carsten Gröhn & Fabian Seredszus


Published November 2009 from Kessel.

Verlag Kessel ISBN: 978-3-941300-10-1
- direkt beim Verlag oder
- über, dort Stichwort „Wasserinsekten Bernstein“ eingeben.

Customers in North America should order this title from ISBS. 336 pages. Illustrated throughout colour and with numerous line drawings. Text bilingual English German. Hardback.

At first sight the embedment of aquatic insects in Baltic amber seems to be contradictive, as the insects live in water and amber originated from resin of extinct trees that grew in a Fennoscandian montane forest approximately 40-50 million years ago.

About 25% of all animals found in amber are aquatic insects. The larvae of these amphibious forms lived in water whereas adults were frequently terrestrial and capable of flying. The Tertiary “amber forest” apparently contained a great amount of lentic waters, flood planes and flowing waters. The resin was washed out of dead wood and streams and rivers transported it to the sea where it became fossilized into amber. Without water, the genesis of amber would be impossible. The high number of aquatic insects in amber is therefore connected with the process of its fossilization.

In this bilingual book, the aquatic insects of Baltic amber of all orders (Odonata, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, aquatic Heteroptera, aquatic Neuroptera, Megaloptera, aquatic Coleoptera, Trichoptera, aquatic Diptera, and Amphipoda and Isopoda among the Crustacea) are presented under paleobiological and taxonomic aspects and some new species are described (Diptera, Neuroptera).

As if in a complex “paleontological jigsaw puzzle” single amber inclusions are combined together so that the whole mosaic of the nature of 40-50 million years ago can be reconstructed.

The appendix includes a current list of all described species of aquatic insects and crustaceans that have been found in Baltic amber and an extensive list of references.

Aquatic Insects in Baltic Amber
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