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Close Up of Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) II | by Ger Bosma
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Close Up of Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) II

Butterflies are characterized by their scale-covered wings. The coloration of butterfly wings is created by minute scales. These scales are pigmented with melanins that give them blacks and browns, but blues, greens, reds and iridescence are usually created not by pigments but the microstructure of the scales. This structural coloration is the result of coherent scattering of light by the photonic crystal nature of the scales. More here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly#Scales

 

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Taken on August 1, 2010