One way around the difficulties of traditional scientific illustration? Invent your own species, then nobody can argue with your rendering of the details. Vladimir Stankovic, a Serbian-born illustrator who now lives in Finland, regularly dreams up new species, and even a whole new order, Cephalopodoptera, “a link between molluscs and insects” that live in underwater caves.
Stankovic says he’s inspired by Klimt and Dali, but his work shows the clear influence of Haeckel as well – if Haeckel had used photoshop to turn his paintings into animated gifs. You can see an online gallery of Stankovic’s work here and buy one for your wall at his etsy shop.