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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
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fossil insect

fossil insect
Green River Formation, Eocene (35-38 mya), Rio Blanco County, Colorado, USA
Size: 1 cm
Usually I can ID my own fossil insects but this one is difficult for me. I would like to think it is a stilt bug but the neck is a bit long, and the antennae have a joint closer to the head than what a stilt bug usually does. I thought that it could be the water bug, Ranatra fusca but there is no breathing tube out the back end and this fossil and another just like it have wings. Any ideas? It is possible features look different because it was distressed when it was buried in the silt that later became shale.

Moved from ID Request.


Hydrometridae --det. J. Damgaard
his comment: "The specimen is a representative of the gerromorphan family Hydrometridae, which is not only one of the easiest recognizable families, but also one of those with the oldest fossil record"

looks like a gerroid to me

fossil gerroid
The fossil is from the Green River Formation, assigned age is Eocene (35 to 38 mya). Is that anything like Gerris remigis? I have a fossil specimen (adult) photo of it as well. But the neck of this one appears to be so long. (could it be that an inmature gerroid had a long neck? Do you know of a living species that looks like my fossil? It could be that it is extinct, however they are common at the location where this one came from.

thanks for the info; submission edited to reflect age.
I find it extremely hard to believe that any Gerris (let alone G. remigis, a common Recent species) could be present in those beds: according to(1), there is no known fossil record of this genus anywhere in the world. As far as i know, the odds of any living insect species dating back over a few million years are all but nonexistent.
btw, this might be a Ranatra relative indeed (with some appendages amputated); good guess.
pls drop me a word to vmarfus on gmail. thanks.

fossil insect
Thanks Belov, I would like to send you a photo of a couple of water insects from GRF that I have. I think I have pretty well pegged their identity, but it is just for the sake of interest in the subject as you seem to be well versed in paleo-entomology. But if you have comments on them you are welcome to express them. Let me know if you don't receive the pix.


got your pix
awesome rocks. talk to you later. =v=