Amazing images show butterfly mouthparts up close

New Scientist Default Image

Photographer
Jan Michels

THESE colourful and startlingly detailed appendages may look otherworldly, but they are actually proboscises, straw-like butterfly mouthparts used for feeding.

The images were taken by Jan Michels at the University of Kiel, Germany, co-author of a recent study on butterfly feeding (Functional Ecology, doi.org/gp7x).

He created the picture by stitching together multiple images taken using confocal laser scanning microscopy, an optical imaging technique that reveals the tiny intricacies of the proboscis by using mirrors to direct a laser beam across the field of view.

The research showed that flower-feeding butterflies have a smoother, more tapered and …

Read more at New Scientist

Scroll to Top