ANIMALS Rest In Peace, Giant Earwig!

Posted by on 15. November 2016

Ohrwurm

Look at the menacing pliers on its behind ...

Ohrwurm

… and the honor of a stamp!

I CAN’T IMAGINE MORE THAN THREE PERSONS who rejoiced when they saw one. The St. Helena Giant Earwig (Labidura herculanea in Latin) was a monster, at least 3 1/s inches long, with gripping pliers of incredible 1 1/2 inches – on their behind! Thanks god, he lived on the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena only, and when I was there, I didn’t see one. Napoleon, the exiled French Emperor, must have seen a couple of the giants, but they disappeared in 1967 and were officially declared extinct in 2014. Then a certain mourning broke out in scientific circles, St. Helena even issued a stamp in 1982 for their „National Insect“, and the museums and collectors around the world scanned their depots for species of the rare earwig. Mostly in vain, only 42 examplaries are known to exist. I don’t mourn particularly emotional, I always hated earwigs, I didn’t see any reason for their existence, and especially one as large as a palm. Sorry …

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