Butterfly wing scales

  • Lauren Holden
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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Butterfly wing scales. Lauren Holden. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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False-coloured scanning electron micrograph of butterfly wing scales from the peacock butterfly (Inachis io). The colours seen in butterfly wings are not usually created by pigments but are the result of the microstructure of the scales which, due to their photonic crystal nature, scatter light to give the iridescence associated with these insects. Width of the scales is equivalent to 100 micrometers.


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