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#69 Spiky Yellow Woodlouse

Critically Endangered

This week's theme is yellow.

These live in St. Helena, but not on the ground like most woodlice, they live in the trees. They do have competition though, which is helping to contribute to the fact that they are critically endangered. Even worse though, the large flax farm operations (for rope making) are taking over their habitat. There is a captive breeding program. The black cabbage tree that seems to be their favourite has very few stands left, so there isn't much hope that the captive breeding program will be able to bring them to healthy numbers in the wild. I think it is more just a hope to keep them from going extinct completely. Cool trivia for you, these glow in UV light! They are using that now which makes surveys easier and more accurate.

I had planned on painting a yellow insect today but could not find any information on how it looked, not even a single scientific drawing or one line description. The woodlouse is not an insect by the way, it is a crustacean, more closely related to shrimp and lobsters. I have been thinking about it though, and more and more I want to do a series of animals I have absolutely no idea what they look like. They may be highly inaccurate and look nothing like the actual creature, but they will be my interpretation of them. A desperate attempt to bring life to something that is mostly forgotten.

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