It is a battle than transcends culture and geography. It even transcends time. The Egyptians fought it. So did the Romans, the Mali, the Incas, the Olmecs, Mayans and Scythians.
For at least several million years all manner of insects have pestered people and animals. And if go back a bit further in time, we see evidence that may have plagued dinosaurs as well.
Found in an Hukawang Valley amber mine in Myanmar was an odd insect has been given its own scientific order. Estimates are that the strange creature may be 100 million years old!
It is an oddity with a small wingless body, triangular head and eye that may have given it the ability to see almost 180 degrees by simply turning its head sideways. It is an extinct species.
But preserved in fossil amber are an array of insects and arachnids that are instantly recognizable. Recently a farmer in Mexico discovered an interesting piece of amber in a hand dug well. Preserved inside is a male scorpion that is estimated to be more than 15 million years old. Designated Tityus apozonalli this is a new species of early scorpion closely related to modern tropical scorpions.
Burmese amber, also known as burmite, is generally designated as belonging to the Cretaceous period. It has been used to create treasured art and jewelry for more than 2,000 years. And it is often rich with preserved insects that offer a glimpse into a lost world.
When dinosaurs dominated the earth more than 100 million years ago, spiders were as common as they are today. Some appear identical to the ones we find in a closet or cupboard. But an even creepier version has recently been found in Burmese amber.
After examining the specimens entomologists concluded that they were an entirely new species of arachnids. All four of the specimens had unusual whip like tails.
In 2014, entomologists at the American Museum of Natural History evaluated a newly discovered collection of Burmese amber. They discovered eleven new species of ants. More than 20,000 species of ants have been catalogued to date.
Insects in amber are preserved in amazing detail. One find in Burmese amber has astounded scientists. It was one of the oldset examples of a brood care scaled insect yet discovered. This particular female scale insect has over sixty eggs. THe age has been estimated at 100 million years!
Release of the movie Jurassic Park in the early 1990s made amber more popular than ever. Prices soared, especially pieces with mosquitoes encased.
For the home owner battling ants, scorpions or spiders, amber provides context. For thousands of years humans have been battling these critters. But our ancestors didn’t have the advantage that is the professionals at Baron Services in Bullhead City, the leading pest control company in western Arizona and the Colorado River Valley.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America