Winged ‘fairy’ creature preserved inside amber belongs to ‘enigmatic’ new species

Echoing the plot of “Jurassic Park,” researchers recently discovered a piece of amber containing insects from the dinosaur age.

It turns out, the bugs belonged to a previously unknown species of wasp that lived millions of years ago, according to a study published Jan. 31 in the journal Paleontological Research.

The amber — fossilized tree resin — was found in Iwaki City, located about 130 miles north of Tokyo, in 1993. It dates to the Late Cretaceous period, which spanned 100 to 66 million years ago.

It is only the second fossil of the genus Archaeromma ever to be found in Japan, researchers said.
It is only the second fossil of the genus Archaeromma ever to be found in Japan, researchers said.

After its discovery, the prehistoric object was deposited in a local museum, where it sat for decades, researchers said.

But during a new analysis, which involved cutting it into thin slices, researchers discovered three insects — a male, a female and one of unknown sex — preserved inside.


Discover more new species

Thousands of new species are found each year. Here are three of our most eye-catching stories from the past week.

'Large' metallic creature — thought extinct for 100 years — rediscovered on island

Spiky 'blue-headed' creature found sleeping in forest of Peru

Pregnant creature — with gold eyes — found on Australia island


All three are believed to belong to a brand new species in the family Mymarommatidae, members of which are known as false fairy wasps due to their diminutive size.

Members of the family, measuring less than .1 centimeter, are considered the most “enigmatic” wasps, researchers said.

More specifically, the newfound wasps were grouped into the extinct genus Archaeromma, of which 10 species are known.

They can be distinguished from other members of the genus by a small number of bristles on their forewings in addition to their slender legs, researchers said.

The species was named chisatoi after Chisato Suzuki, who discovered the fossil.

Over 100 fossilized insects have been discovered in amber from Iwaki, and it is expected more will be found in the future, researchers said.

Pregnant creature — with gold eyes — found on Australia island. It’s a new species

Trove of 1,500-year-old artifacts uncovered during road work in Poland

Spiky ‘pirate’ creatures found on tropical island. They’re a ‘remarkable’ new species