Alexandria is a native Californian sunchild, currently based in cloudy Seattle. Her work is informed by natural history and biological processes, traveling to 10 different countries, a desire to teach and inspire, and an inborn sense of curiosity and wonder. She uses her illustration to inquire about and explore her world, and she is excited to show you what she sees.
(Xanthopan morganii praedicta) pollinating Darwin’s orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale)
Gouache and colored pencil on illustration board
16" x 20"
The relationship between Darwin's hawk moth and Darwin's orchid says as much about good science as it does about a good imagination. In the late 1800s, Charles Darwin was sent a specimen of Angraecum sesquipedale from Madagascar and was astounded by its foot long nectaries. Darwin predicted that a large moth with an exceptionally long tongue must be the pollinator, a hypothesis that was later supported by Alfred Russel Wallace, without either of the two scientists ever seeing the interaction. It wasn't until 50 years later that the interaction was confirmed by sight, at which time the moth was assigned the subspecies praedicta in honor of their predictions.
Making order out of chaos