Butterfly wing, light micrograph

Butterfly wing, light micrograph

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Credit: DR KEITH WHEELER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Small tortoiseshell butterfly (Aglais urticae) wing, light micrograph. A butterfly wing is covered in many tiny scales. The scales are modified hairs, or setae, and are made of chitin, a common substance in insect exoskeletons. The colour of the butterfly's wing is determined not only by pigmentation, but also by diffraction of light and the surface structure of the scale. A. urticae lives in fields and cultivated land, feeding exclusively on nettles. Magnification: x4 when printed at 10 centimetres wide

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Keywords: aglais urticae, animal, biological, biology, coloured, entomological, entomology, false-coloured, fauna, insect, invertebrate, lepidoptera, light micrograph, light microscope, nature, no-one, nobody, scales, setae, small tortoiseshell butterfly, wildlife, wing, zoological, zoology

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