Glasswing Butterflies Transform Their Wings Into Transparent Ones

Butterflies are famous for colorful wings. Yet, the glasswing butterfly has transparent wings. These butterflies use their wings to be in stealth mode and hide even if they are in lain sight. Glasswing butterflies have spindly scales creating a see-through membrane. It has antireflective properties. That is why these butterflies evade detection. The trait of transparency is a form of clever camouflage. Transparent animals are capable of blending into any simple or complicated background. Ther bodies can decrease the way their bodies reflect light.

Some scientists call glasswing butterflies tiny invisible jets that zoom around in the forest. About 2% of their underlying wings are visible in dark regions. The remaining 80% is exposed in transparent regions. There are two types of scales that make this possible—thin scales with forked or single bristles and leaf-like scales. The tiny, water repellent bumps are on the outer surface of the wing membrane. This creates a slow shift between the optical characteristics of the wings and the air.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *