The researcher named the new flower ‘Plukenetia minima’, which is characterized by its small size, as well as its long stem , at the tip of which has four distinct sepals.
George Poinar, a scientist at the University of Oregon, discovered in a mine of the northern mountain ranges of the Dominican Republic the fossilized remains of a rare flower, and those of a wasp, which were preserved in an amber stone from 30 million years ago , informed the American academic institution.
According to the author of the study, published in the journal Historical Biology, it was This is the first description of the fossil species of ‘Plukenetia’ from the Dominican Republic, which is a genus of flower of the Euphorbiaceae family, whose members grow mainly in tropical regions.
“The fossil flowers of the members of this family are quite rare”, pointed out Poinar, who added that he previously found “a previously known fossil”, from the sedimentary deposits of the Middle Eocene Claiborne Formation, in the western Tennessee.
Origin of the new fossilized flower
The researcher named the new flower ‘Plukenetia minima’, which can be distinguished from other extant neotropical members of the same genus, due to its small size, as well as its long stem, at the tip of which it has four sé different sticks. He also mentioned that it was a pistillate flower in four mature pods. A developing fly larva was found inside one of these.
In the case of the wasp, according to Poinar, it corresponds to the species ‘Hambletonia dominicana’, belonging to the Encyrtidae family. This species of parasitic wasps are known to attack a wide variety of insects. Previously, the researcher published findings regarding this species.
“In many cases, unrelated organisms are buried together in amber by chance”, said the scientist, assuring that “the wasp was attracted to the flower, either to obtain nectar or in an attempt to deposit an egg in the capsule containing the fly larva”.
Later, he mentioned that the wasp egg would emerge, entering the vai na to devour the larva, which would allow the survival of the insect in the ecological environment created by the vegetation and flowers of ‘Plukenetia’.
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