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New Fossil Bug Species Unearthed from 45-Million-Year-Old Baltic Amber

Dr Ernst Heiss from the Tiroler Landesmuseum in Innsbruck, Austria, has described a new extinct species of flat bug.

Aradus macrosomus

Aradus macrosomus, a 9.2-mm-long female, in dorsal and ventral view. Image credit: Ernst Heiss.

Baltic amber, the fossilized tree resin, has been discovered on or near the shores of the eastern Baltic Sea.

This amber contains extremely rich clues about the botanical and zoological objects, especially arthropods.

When the new bug species was discovered, it was hidden in a honey-colored, transparent piece of Baltic amber, which was as old as 45 million years

Within the catalogue of Aradus, it belongs to the genus of true bugs in the family of Aradidae. Actually, existing species of Aradus usually live on and under the bark of dead trees, so that it greatly supports the explanation why so many species are well preserved in amber deposits. Up to now, 14 species of the genus have been found from Baltic amber.

The name of new species is Aradus macrodomes, originating from the Greek words ‘macros’ (large) and ‘soma’ (body), in reference of extraordinarily bid size of the bug. Recently, latest information about Aradus macrosomus has been released in the open-access journal of Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift.

Journal reference: 

Ernst Heiss. 2014. Revision of the flat bug family Aradidae from Baltic Amber IX.Aradus macrosomus sp. n. (Hemiptera: Heteroptera). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 61 (1): 27-29; doi: 10.3897/dez.61.7155