Close-up of an eyespot on a butterfly's wing

Close-up of an eyespot on a butterfly's wing

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Butterfly wing. Close-up of an eyespot on the wing of a butterfly, species Salamis aethiops (family: Nymphalidae). The structure of a butterfly wing is like a roof, with coloured scales corresponding to the overlapping tiles. The colour of a butterfly's wing is determined by pigmentation of the scales and also by diffraction of light off the surface of each scale. Eyespots mimic the eyes of a larger animal and serve to startle predators when the wings are suddenly flashed open. This butterfly belongs to the family of brush-footed or four- footed butterflies and lives in equatorial Africa.

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Keywords: animal, butterfly, butterfly wing, eyespot, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, nymphalidae, salamis aethi, salamis aethiops, scale, scales, type, wildlife, wing, zoology

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