Scientists have shown how the wings of butterflies are formed

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Scientists have shown how the wings of butterflies are formed

The data obtained on the structure and arrangement of small scales on the wings of butterflies can help in the creation of new useful materials.

The wings of butterflies are composed of the tiny scales that give them color can shimmer and protect the insect from moisture, so scientists say their findings will help create new materials such as iridescent windows or waterproof fabrics. >

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were able to capture the formation of hundreds of thousands of tiny scales on the wings of a butterfly of the species Vanessa cardui or burdock, which are formed during the transformation of an insect from a caterpillar to a butterfly in a cocoon.

 Scientists have shown how the wings of butterflies are formed

Butterfly Vanessa cardui

  • Distributed throughout the world, except South America
  • Wing length – 26-31 mm
  • Wingspan – 47-65 mm
  • In the mountains can live at an altitude of 2.5 to 3 thousand meters

 Scientists have shown how the wings of butterflies are formed

The researchers were able to see the process of wing formation in the burdock butterfly, which was not chosen by chance, because its wings have much in common with other Lepidoptera. In the course of the study, scientists discovered exactly how the scales on the wing grow and form a special pattern. When the scales reach the right size, thin ridges appear on them, which control the color of the insect and help it wick away moisture. The findings could be used to create new materials such as iridescent windows and waterproof fabrics, the scientists said.

& # 171; The process of forming scales on a butterfly wing can be used to create a specific color and self-cleaning properties for windows of cars and houses & # 187; – says Anthony McDougall of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scientists have shown how butterfly wings are formed

Elements on the wings

Microscopic elements on the wings of butterflies act as tiny light reflectors that give the butterfly its color and radiance. The ridges on the scales of the wing serve to wick away moisture and heat, which allows the butterfly to stay dry and have a low body temperature, scientists say.

Researchers have tried to reproduce the properties of the butterfly's wings to create new solar panels and optical sensors that are water-repellent. and a heat-resistant surface, and even paper money with rainbow encryption to prevent counterfeiting.

Understanding what processes butterflies use to grow their scales can help create and develop new technologies, scientists say.

& # 171; Our research focused on what happens on the surface of a butterfly's wing, but we also want to know what happens inside the wing & # 187 ;, says McDougal.

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