7 Blue Morpho Butterfly Specimen

Giant Blue Butterfly Frame Real Specimen

We tend to admire butterfly wings for their captivating charm. Our carelessness in neglecting other interesting facts about these wings is for that reason extremely excusable. but wouldn't you like to know more? Here are our top ten (well, maybe more) facts about 7 Blue Morpho Butterfly Specimen that you will be excited to learn.

Butterflies Have Scaled Wings

The scientific name for the butterfly/moth family is Lepidoptera. This word is derived from Greek roots indicating "scale wings." For scientists, the most apparent function that separates butterflies and moths from other insects is their scaled wings. While we may not discover this right away, closer evaluation of a butterfly reveals the fact that their wings are made from tiny scales that are actually bulbous, modified feathers. The pigments of the scales on their wings come either from chemical pigments such as melanin or from plants and waste that build up during metamorphosis. If you take a look at macro photography pictures of these scales, you can see that the scales differ not only in color, they differ in shape. Some butterflies appear to have a "dusty" texture. When you take a look at macro photography shots of these butterflies, you will see that the round shaped scales actually look like an old, firmly woven carpet! Other butterflies appear to have a glossy or metallic texture. When you take a look at macro photography shots of these butterflies, you will discover that the scales are relatively flat with crisp, overlapping edges. Depending on the spacing between these flat, overlapping scales, reflective light waves interface to the degree that some wavelengths are cancelled out while others are enhanced - like the patterns on a soap bubble. This is why the well-known morpho butterflies have a metallic, iridescent appearance.

For a moment, let's forget about the shape and coloring of these scales: there is something fascinating that we discover by scrubing them all off: if the scales are removed, the wing that is left appears clear and slightly wrinkly - kind of like Saran Wrap! Some species of butterflies are in fact, scale-less. Collection agencies call them glass wing butterflies. Although these butterflies are interesting to take a look at, we have to wonder whether or not having no scales may be a slight disadvantage considering that the scales of butterfly wings are flexible and self-cleaning! Grooming may for that reason be slightly more complicated for glass wings! One last fact about the scales on butterfly wings: they typically change shade - and even color - when wet. The species Papilio Ulysses Ulysses is particularly stunning to look at when it is wet: rather than its popular, dynamic blue, the wings appear to be a teal-ish green color when wet. Sadly, we rarely get to observe this detail in nature since butterflies hide from the rain - which leads us to our next round of fascinating facts ...

Wet Wings

When emerging from the chrysalis, a butterfly's wings are soft and flexible. If the butterfly does not extend the wings soon enough or wide enough, they will harden with folds that will cripple the butterfly and keep it from being able to fly the rest of its life. The drying process only takes about an hour. Each time a butterfly's wings get significantly wet, it runs the risk of having its wings messed up to some degree. This is one reason you will see butterflies on a leaf or branch flapping their wings and sitting in the sun. They may not be trying to draw in any type of attention - they are aiming to keep their wings healthy and strong. There is another reason you may observe this behavior though: butterflies need sunlight in order to fly. Their bodies should maintain a temperature of about 53 degrees Fahrenheit or 30 degrees Celsius or their flying muscles will not function correctly - slow and sluggish, they are susceptible to predator attack.

Eyespots & Tails

Lots of butterfly wings have eyespots or tails. Eyespots safeguard butterflies since birds will attack the eyespot first. Some eyespots are hidden from view until the forewing is pushed forward so that red eyes appear and surprise the predator long enough to make an escape. For similar reasons, lots of species of butterflies and moths have splendid tails. While we admire these tails for their charm, birds are not so discriminating - to them, these tails look like the long neck of a bug. Since necks represent a susceptible portion of the anatomy of any type of creature, this is an apparent spot for birds to attack. Thus, even a successful attack on an eyespot or on a butterfly's tail will not be fatal and because butterflies can fly with up to 70 % of their wings missing, a detached eyespot or tail will allow the butterfly to leave to safety.

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Glenda Stovall
Publish at December 5, 2018 By: in Butterfly Category.

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