This unusual guitar uses an armadillo shell as a sound box, it was created by Steve Cicchetti. Mr. Cicchetti is a country musician known for hand-making a variety of musical instruments, he has also been a frequent Texas Folklife Festival participant.
There are many different species of armadillo in the world, but only the Nine-Banded Armadillo lives in North America, all the others live in either Central or South America. The Nine-Banded Armadillo is found mostly in the Southeastern United States, though it has been seen as far north as Illinois. Its overall length is about 2½ feet, and adults weigh from twelve to seventeen pounds, which puts it roughly around the size of a house cat.
Armadillos are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals, primarily small bugs with the occasional small lizard and plant matter. In their hunt for bugs, they are prolific diggers. Their digging ability can often become a nuisance for landowners, because they will dig up lawns and fields. They also dig deep burrows, where they sleep up to 19 hours a day. They typically live anywhere from 7 to 20 years in the wild. Nine-banded armadillos often have identical quadruplets when they give birth; which means that they have four genetically identical babies. It is a common misconception that all armadillos curl up into balls with their protective shell covering them, only the Brazilian native Three-Banded Armadillo is capable of that feat. They are considered a threatened species due to habitat destruction and the high number killed on highways each year.
Nine-Banded Armadillos are the small state animal of Texas and are used as the mascot for several schools and businesses throughout the state.