Butterfly wing

These are images of the wing of a Blue Morpho butterfly. In nature, many plants and creatures have bright colours. This is often due to the presence of coloured molecules. However, in the Blue Morpho butterfly, the beautiful colour is caused by tiny structures in the scales of the wing. These tiny, regular structures interact with light from the sun, creating a shimmery blue colour.

The wing was kindly donated by Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm and the images were taken by Zoe Schnepp using a Scanning Electron Microscope.

The line at the bottom of each image is the scale bar. The symbol ‘μ’ is the micron symbol. 10 μm is 10 micrometres and is the same as 0.01 mm or 0.00001 m!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.