(This piece is respectfully dedicated to both David Lunde Sanchez and Elizabeth Binion. David is an artist I met online. He lives in Norway and draws some of the most delightful and intriguing pictures and comics I have ever seen. You can see David’s art at his tumblr here and read his comic “Under the Weather” here. I am lucky enough to own a few of his original drawings and they are treasures. David and I corresponded a bit online about these Radiant Bestiary pieces, and his kindness and encouragement were a big part of what got this project off the ground. I mentioned some of the things I wanted to paint, and he told me that Antlions were one of his favorite things. I hope this piece makes him smile. Liz is someone I am very close to from long ago, and we recently reconnected. She came to visit my wife and I just a few days ago, and as I stayed up very late waiting for her to arrive - she had to drive in from quite far away - I finished painting this piece. Every time I look at this painting, I’ll remember that sense of excitement as I waited to see Liz again for the first time in 20 years. Also, she is still every bit as wonderful, beautiful and amazing as she was 20 years ago.)
“We found that four of the pesticides most commonly found in beehives kill bee larvae,” said Jim Frazier, professor of entomology, Penn State. “We also found that the negative effects of these pesticides are sometimes greater when the pesticides occur in combinations within the hive. Since pesticide safety is judged almost entirely on adult honeybee sensitivity to individual pesticides and also does not consider mixtures of pesticides, the risk assessment process that the Environmental Protection Agency uses should be changed.”
Wanyi Zhu, Daniel R. Schmehl, Christopher A. Mullin, James L. Frazier. Four Common Pesticides, Their Mixtures and a Formulation Solvent in the Hive Environment Have High Oral Toxicity to Honey Bee Larvae. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e77547 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077547
Bee feeding larva in the hive. Credit: Maryann Frazier/Penn State
Eucharitid wasps are parasitic of many different species of ants. Eucharitid larvae will attach themselves to foraging ants, who unknowingly bring them back to the colony. Once there, the wasp larvae feed on ant larvae until they develop into adult wasps.
These whitefly larvae produce white waxy secretions in the form of sturdier scales and long filaments. The ring pattern on the leaf is made by the adult whiteflies as they lay their eggs in a spiral fashion on a bed of a similar waxy material. In this image, those eggs have hatched (hence the larvae) but the marks from the egg trail remain.
A spiralling whitefly is not a fly but a true bug, a member of the order Hemiptera who all feed on liquid food via stylets, modified tubular mouthparts. To confuse the matter further, adult whiteflies resemble tiny moths, with four wings covered by a white dusting of mealy material that resembles the wing scales in butterflies and moths.
Most swordfish grow to be about 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length and some get even bigger still, but when they first hatch from their eggs they’re only about 4 millimeters long. These itty-bitty larvae grow at an astonishing rate, feeding on a diet of other fish larvae and zooplankton, reaching a length of up to 39 inches (3.25 feet) during their first year of life.