The Fig Wasp
A series of illustrations about the mutualistic relationship between a fig and a fig wasp. With these pieces, I attempt to capture the beautiful but chaotic process that plays out within a fig while its exterior remains calm/undisturbed, the key to the symbiotic relationship which pairs the fig wasp and the fig plant.
The fig wasp is the smallest animal that can fit inside of a fig, whose structure takes the form of an inverted flower, called a syconium. Once a female wasp enters the opening of a fig, she loses her wings and antennae. She lays her eggs and pollinates the fig before ultimately dying inside of it. When the male wasps have hatched, they mate with the females, collectively tunnel to the outside, and die upon completion of their task. The female wasps then escape and fly away to find other figs to crawl into, forming mutually beneficial relationships with other fig plants.