Coloured SEM of wing scales of Morpho butterfly

Coloured SEM of wing scales of Morpho butterfly

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This image is part of the feature Nature Engineers Uk Version

Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Butterfly wing. Coloured scanning electron micro- graph (SEM) of scales on the wing of a male Morpho butterfly (family: Morphidae) found in Brazil. Here, the tiny overlapping scales that cover the butterfly wing are seen. The male butterfly of Morpho sp. is brightly coloured, in some species an iridescent green or blue. Layers of wing scales are transparent but refract and reflect light of different colours to different extents. This produces a shimmering appearance which is used in the males for sexual attraction. The females are coloured brown. There are about 50 species of Morpho, occurring in South America. Magnification: x70 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: animal, butterfly, butterfly wing, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, iridescence, morpho, nature, scale, scales, type, wildlife, wing, zoology

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