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#337 St Helena Giant Earwig


As the name would lead you to believe, these were endemic to the island of St Helena. They were wingless and lived in burrows. They ate some insects but were also scavengers. The last they were seen was in 1967. They went extinct because of habitat loss and introduced predators. This painting is life-sized. They got up to a little over 3 inches long!

While aesthetically it would have made a more interesting and dynamic painting to have had it with the back half curled up, pincers up, they do that when they feel threatened. I don't mind painting the occasional animal that looks a bit angry, since I get a bit angry at all the animals that have gone forever or may soon be gone. I won't paint them in a position of fear though, no matter how exciting the painting might look if I did. So earwigs are not my favourite insects, the pincers freak me out a little bit. Somehow though, a little insect that might creep me out normally starts looking more, well not cuddly necessarily but fun and lovable.

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