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The Beetle

Did you know there are over 350,000 species of beetles in the world, and that’s just the ones that have been discovered?  According to https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/side_O_0/beetles_01 this compares to “250,000 described species of plants, 12,000 described species of roundworms, and only 4,000 described species of mammals”  

And it’s not surprising as the beetle species has evolved to live in water or on land , and eat a diverse food source such as insect pests, decaying plants, tree bark, or dung. Some species also have a hard shell of armour to protect their fragile bodies.

Beetles in Mythology

The Egyptian Scarab (dung) beetle must be the most famous. The insect god Khepri was associated with the Scarab, the story being that the god would bury the sun in the west every evening in the underworld and dig it out again in the morning in the east.

The story of course has more than a grain of truth as the male and female dung beetle roll a ball of dung and buries it for the female to lay her eggs (or for eating later…yum!) They use the sun to navigate their way to a safe spot. Here’s some amazing footage of this happening https://www.buzzfeed.com/izzyfrancke/dung-beetles

Here is my beetle in flight (of course!)

I cast the body of the beetle from the other side of the skull I used for the Death Head moth. It’s plaster of paris gilded with metal leaf. The golden and copper glass in the wings is hand gilded glass.

You can find the beetle here if you want it in your home


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