Going to Bat for Bananas
Species illustrated: Cave Nectar Bat (Eonycteris spelaea) and Banana Plant (Musa sp.)
The bananas we eat do not produce seeds and therefore must be propagated from cuttings. This practice eliminates the need for pollination, but also results in extremely low genetic diversity, which can leave commercial banana strains vulnerable to being wiped out by disease. Such disasters may require the re-establishment of seedless banana strains from wild species, which do produce seeds, and are most effectively pollinated by bats. Conservation of wild bananas and their bat pollinators is therefore an important hedge for the future of our banana supply.
24x24 oil on canvas
All sizes are measured in inches. All art is original.