2010 — Nature's Art: Butterflies and Moths as Artists
April – June
The color patterns on the wings are due to the covering of scales. The scales overlap each other in a regular fashion resembling tiles on a roof. Each scale is more or less racquet shaped and has a small protection or stalk at its base which fits into a minute socket on the wing membrane. The handling of specimens damages this delicate articulation and the scales easily rub off. To the naked eye the scales look like colored dust. Pigments contained within the scales give rise to the color of some butterflies, whilst in others, microscopic ridges or striae on the surface break up the light falling on them and so produce the; metallic colors of the blues and coppers.
LOCATION: 1st floor Lobby
Curator: Dr. Davie McCorkle, Professor of Biology Emeritus.