Takeshi Yamada, a collector of strange creatures, is the proud owner of what appears to be a St Helena giant earwig – a specimen made more valuable by last week’s news that the species is likely to be officially declared extinct.
But it doesn’t deceive Dr Roger Key, who visited St Helena in 2013 as part of the Bugs on the Brink project.
He has posted a picture of the creature on the internet, with the following caption:
“Don’t be fooled! This a clever fake, produced by Takeshi Yamada. As far as I can gather it is the head of a longhorn beetle, various bits of probably two cockroaches (the thorax, abdomen and wings) and the ‘pincers’ are probably jaws from a large beetle or dobsonfly.”
Mr Takeshi is no fraud. He is an artist who creates fantastical creatures, including a vast sea monster, using his skills as a taxidermist.
Click here to see the picture.