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Butterfly wing scale, SEM

Butterfly wing scale, SEM

C028/8327

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Credit

PETR JAN JURACKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETR JAN JURACKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Butterfly wing scales. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a scale from the wing of a Ulysses butterfly (Papilio ulysses), showing the photonic crystal structure. The colour of a butterfly's wing can arise either from a pigment contained in the scales or from the actual structure of the scales themselves, as here. Photonic crystals are nanostructures that affect the motion of photons in light, producing a specific colouration.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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