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"Dolichopodidae in copula" (2020) - Limited Print 1/5

"Dolichopodidae in copula" (2020) - Limited Print 1/5

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"Dolichopodidae in copula" (2020) By Lachlan Sutherland - Limited Print 1/5, black frame with Non-Reflective Glass. 

Dipterans of the family Dolichopodidae (long-legged flies) "in copula" (i.e., mid-copulation).
These two flies were caught mid-mating in resin dripping from a tree 42 million years ago. The resin and the tree fell and were buried, and slowly hardened into amber over tens of thousands of years, eventually becoming part of the coal beds of Anglesea Coal Mine. My colleagues at Monash University extracted it along with a shipping container full of amber-bearing coal, which then had to be hand searched for amber pieces. A student volunteer was looking through freshly extracted pieces and spotted a fly and brought it to my attention, then we saw another, both apparently joined by the tips of their abdomens -- mating! I then consolidated, polished, and photographed the piece, resulting in this image. This image was included in an Nature Scientific Reports paper on Australian amber written by my professor, Jeffrey Stilwell, on which I am the fourth author. 

Figure 4 in Amber from the Triassic to Paleogene of Australia and New Zealand as exceptional preservation of poorly known terrestrial ecosystems (2020)
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