SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Butterfly wing. Image 6 of 6. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) close-up of a scale on a wing from a butterfly (order Lepidoptera, meaning "scale-wing" in Greek). A butterfly wing is covered in many tiny scales that are modified hairs (setae). The scales 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 grating seen at this microscopic level. Magnification: x1580 at 6x7cm size. For a sequence that magnifies the wing of a butterfly down to this light-diffracting scale structure, see images Z355/692-697.
Model release not required. Property release not required.