24 March 2011

Moth wing scales

Scanning electron micrograph of the scales on the wing of a Madagascan moon moth, (Argema mittrei). This endangered moth... is also known as the Comet moth, because of its characteristic long tail. The tail span is 15 cm and wing span 20 cm, making it one of the world’s largest silk moths. Creator Kevin MacKenzie has coloured the scales in this micrograph light green to reflect the natural colour of the moth.  (Credit, via)
I had to look up this moth; here's what it looks like (credit) -
Rather similar to the more familiar Luna moths, like the one we raised last year:

And, BTW, if you would like to take your own scanning EMs and don't have access to a scanning electron microscope, you can build one in your basement.  This guy did - and it works (video at the link).

Addendum:  A different "moon moth"- Graellsia isabellae (the Spanish Moon Moth), photographed in Switzerland by TPittaway:

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