April the first has long been a day of opportunity for some and dread for others, depending on which side of the “trick” one falls. Insects are arguably perfect targets for appearing in exaggeration images, because they are relatively easy to capture and not difficult to photograph (with practice). One of the most famous size-inflated postcards of the last century was that of a grasshopper of some three feet of length, being held by a farmer in Idaho.
The above image was meant simply as an object of an electronic April Fool’s Day joke for circulation to the combined entomological staff (Smithsonian, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit, DOD), housed mostly at the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. Several coleoperists (beetle workers) agreed to participate, and the composition was done by my daughter Amanda. Happily, insects do not reach large sizes, but if they did, the Smithsonian would be the first to document them.
Gary Hevel, Public Information Officer, Entomology Department