MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Butterfly wing scales. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of scales attached to the wing of an unidentified butterfly (order Lepidoptera, meaning "scale-wing" in Greek). A butterfly wing is covered in these tiny scales that are modified hairs (setae). They are made of chitin, the main component of insect exoskeletons. The iridescence of the colours of a butterfly's wings is produced by the diffraction of light by the microscopic structure of these scales. Magnification unknown.
Model release not required. Property release not required.