Taking my granddaughter to preschool, we found this Jerusalem Cricket lumbering across the parking lot. We ran to the school for a cup, because I thought, ah ha! Here's my painting for today. We showed all the kids. The teacher took a picture. These bugs are not found back east where I grew up, so seeing one of these for the first time out here in CA was frightening! They are BIG, about 2" long with a huge head. This one is kind of streamlined compared to others I've seen. The very first time I saw this bug it was in the night, my husband awoke with one of these crawling across his neck. He threw it off, we turned the lights on and there it was! They're nocturnal crickets without wings. The formal name is stenopelmatus fuscus. Some other names are: "nino de la tierra" or child of the earth, "cara de nino" or earth baby, "wo' see ts' inii" or skull insect in Navajo, "old bald-headed man", and "potato bug". They feed on dead organic material in the night. They aren't poisonous, but can bite. I've got to say this one had quite a personality--very feisty--did not want to be pushed into a cup and tried all morning to get out--twisting and turning and stopping to look and listen. If he was touched on his back all his legs went up tightly to cover his back. His movements were somewhat human! I kept him captive just long enough to draw him, but let him go as soon as I could--he needed to get under ground!
Watercolor, 7"x 7"