Butterfly wing
click on pictures to see them larger

The wings of a butterfly are the primary means by which it is identified. When collectors mount butterflies the wings are kept spread so that they can be clearly seen.

butterfly wing scales  400X  - click to see larger Butterfly  wing and loose scales 160X  - click to see larger

The scales of butterfly wings serve the same function in flight as the feathers of a bird. They also give the wings their distinctive color patterns, many of which, like the colors of birds, are actually produced by the reflection and refraction of light. Butterfly wings look very impressive under superstage lighting, but, unfortunately, they are difficult to photograph this way.

Butterfly wing 40X (superstage lighting)  -  click to see larger Butterfly wing and detached scales 100X (superstage) - click to see larger
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