The Red Banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
Here at NMNH,the SEM is primarily used here to examine morphological details in taxonomic research. Highlighted below is an example of wing scales from the Hairstreak. Wing scales assist in the aerodynamics and structural integrity of the wing. Pigmentation provides color and patterns useful for display or camouflage and are important for thermal regulation. On some the spacing and frequency of the ridges and cross ribs are such that they diffract light to produce the shimmering colors and patterns of iridescence. The zoom series detailed below will show some of the microstructure of wing scales. In each of these images color has been artificially added. Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.
[ TOP ]