Butterfly wing scale, SEM

Butterfly wing scale, SEM

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Caption: Butterfly wing scale, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). A butterfly's scales are modified hairs, or setae, and are made of chitin, a common substance in insect exoskeletons. The iridescence of the colours of a butterfly's wings is produced by the diffraction of light by the microscopic ridges on these scales. Magnification: x12,270 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, butterfly, chitin, coloured, entomological, entomology, false-coloured, fauna, insect, iridescence, iridescent, lepidoptera, lepidopteran, nature, ridge, ridged, ridges, scale, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, seta, setae, structure, wildlife, wing, zoological, zoology

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