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Monarch butterfly’s anatomy

I decided to go back to the neighbor who has the butterfly bush, otherwise known as the Buddleia davidii or ‘Pink Delight’.  Click HERE to see the previous post on butterflies. I have since discovered that they not only draw butterflies, but also hummingbirds.  When I arrived at the plant today, again there were several butterflies fluttering about it.  As I was positioning my camera, a hummingbird came over, ready to enjoy the fruits of the plant.  I looked up at him and he looked at me for a few seconds, but before I could get my camera in position Mr. Hummingbird darted away.  Bummer; that would have made a sweet picture!   Well, I have never been so close to a hummingbird– it was less than three feet away. 

I brought my macro lense this time, hoping to get some close-up images.  The photo below is one of my first images from today.


Though the initial images are not any closer than the ones from yesterday, I can zoom in and get some amazing detail.   Here is the same photo cropped closer for greater detail.  Notice that toward the end of the thorax of the butterfly ( just back from the head) is what looks like hair or fur.  In this picture one can also see the compound eyes of the butterfly.   

Butterfly-Closer up

The following picture is a different butterfly.  Notice its beautiful coloration.


As I cropped in closer, I could see some pretty cool features.  Notice the appearance of a fur coat around the thorax. 


The next image is still the second butterfly image, except it is cropped in closer still.  Notice the wing material.  The texture looks like cloth or carpet.  

The web site How Stuff Works states this about butterfly wings: “They’re made of an extremely thin, transparent material called chitin stretched over a series of vein-like structures. The forewings are closer to the butterfly’s head and are roughly triangular. The hindwings are closer to the tail and are shaped like fans or seashells.  The colors and patterns come from layers of tiny scales. It’s easy to think of these as similar to fish scales, but they’re structured more like short, tiny hairs. These scales protect the wings and provide insulation.”


One more view of the same butterfly reveals a more detailed view of the fur and compound eyes which are excellent for detecting color and nearby movement.  My 100mm macro lens gave me some interesting shots today. 


I also took some pictures of bees.  I love the detail shown in these pictures. 

Bee in a flower

Bee on a flower