The powder that comes off onto your fingers when you handle a moth or butterfly is made up of the iridescent or…

The powder that comes off onto your fingers when you handle a moth or butterfly is made up of the iridescent or coloured scales on their wings. These scales are beautiful delicate structures when viewed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This image was taken of a scale on the underside of a moth’s wing using backscattered electron imaging in an SEM. The image was inverted and colour applied.

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