Accurate drawings of mantis and centipedes. All illustrations are hand drawn and expertly rendered. In the gallery is the California Preying Mantis, Giant Redheaded Centipede, and Praying Mantis. High quality prints made on acid-free archival paper are available of all drawings in the gallery. If you do not see the mantid or myriapod you're looking for please contact the artist to make a suggestion. Custom illustrations of specific animals can be ordered as well. For more information and pricing please call 1 (800) 913-7906 or send an email to the artist. All drawings shown are available in both B&W line art versions and color
The wildlife drawings are also available for stock art illustration.
My chosen career - scientific illustration - leads me into learning many facts and a lot of information about the animals and plants I illustrate. A good example is the subphylum of Myriapods. I hadn't even known the word until I was faced with the dilemma of placing the Red-Headed Centipede and the Praying Mantis into a category. Growing up in the mid-West, I hadn't ever encountered anything other than small centipedes that lived in the damp, dark areas of the basement. The first time I saw a mantis in the wild was in, of all places, Turkey. So each time I draw one, I learn a little bit more about the order. I don't have many drawn at the moment, but will probably add a couple more in the next months. If you have a suggestion I'd like to hear it! Please send me an email.
The order Mantodea contains about 2,200 insects, mostly of the family Mantidae. Many from this family are called 'praying mantis' (or sometimes incorrectly preying mantis) due to the prayer-like stance the insects are often seen holding. Mantis have triangular heads and vey large compound eyes. They've ferocious and formidable ambush hunters, standing motionless waiting for prey to come into range, and then springing on them in a flash. They are, of course, infamous for the fact that while mating, the much larger females will sometimes cannibalize the males. Mantis are also noted as being the one of the only insects that can move its head around freely – about 180 degrees. This specialized adaption is especially helpful in an ambush hunter, as it can look around more secretively without giving up it's position to possible prey. Amazingly, some mantis are so large, powerful and quick they can actually attack and kill small birds, like hummingbirds. Despite their fearsome appearance, hey are not dangerous to humans, and because they often feed on pest insects, they are welcome visitors to any garden.
Myriapods are a subphylum of the order arthropods. About 13,000 invertebrates are classified as such, including centipedes (class Chilopoda) millipedes (class Diplopod) glass centipedes (class Symphyla) and class Pauropoda. These are very ancient arthropods, and their history can be traced through the fossil record reaching all the way back into the late Silurian period, which was nearly 450 million years ago. Myriapods are characterized by a single pair of antenna and rudimentary eyes, and a large array of legs, which is where the centipedes and millipedes get their name, from Latin prefix cent or milli - "hundred" and "thousand", and Latin pes, pedis, or "foot"). Their mouths are on the underside of the head, and have mandibles inside. Most myriapods prefer damp, dark areas such as forests attached to wetlands or nearby a water source like a lake, river or marsh, where they provide important assistance in helping to break down decaying plant matter. Although there are some that live in semi-arid or desert areas as well.