As a quick follow-up to the “More butterfly wings…” post I thought you might like to see full-sized images of the butterflies used in the tests – starting with the most glamorous ones – the Morpho butterflies. The intense, metallic blue colours on a Morpho are not caused by pigments but instead are iridescence caused by interference generated by the micro-structure of the wing scales.

Incidentally, these specimens were given to me many years ago because they are all damaged beyond commercial value. They hung in a case on my mother’s office wall for many years but when she retired she gave them back to me and they had been in storage until I realised that they’d make ideal subjects to test lenses!

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