Butterfly scales

Butterfly scales

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Credit: E.R.DEGGINGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Butterfly wing. Light micrograph of scales on the wing of a Morpho butterfly (family: Morphidae). Here, the tiny overlapping scales that cover the butterfly's wing are seen. The male Morpho butterfly is brightly coloured. Layers of wing scales are transparent but tiny ridges on the scales break up and reflect light to give the scales their shimmering iridescent appearance. This is used by the male butterflies to attract a mate. Females of the species are coloured brown. Morpho butterflies are found in the rainforests of South America. Magnification: x40 at 6x9cm size.

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

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