They’re more than just flashy colors.
Researchers writing November 22 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences imaged the growth of microscopic scales on the wings of Painted Lady butterflies.
Blue Morpho butterflies living in the Amazon have distinct flight patterns depending on which strata of the rainforest they occupy, write researchers in the journal Science on November 25.
Mark Chappell, UC Riverside
But a November 22 study in Current Biology reports that some species of animals have evolved to digest milkweed toxins, too, all for the purpose of eating monarchs.
Yulia Reznikov/Moment/Getty Images
Writing in the Journal of Experimental Biology in May, researchers discovered that the wing scales on these species develop differently than other butterflies, even from the earliest stages of growth.
Watching butterflies take off in a wind tunnel helped a team of researchers map out the curved “clapping” motion that these insects use to make themselves airborne.
Butterflies see color differently than us. One research team mapped out the photoreceptive proteins called ospins in the eye of an atala hairstreak butterfly.