Almost Invisible: The Incredible Glasswing Butterfly

Transparency in animals is something that is still not entirely understood by science.  The beautiful Glasswing butterfly possesses this feature in abundance - a great percentage of its wingspan is almost completely transparent.

It is thought that the wings have large amounts submicroscopic protrusions that have the same refractive index which means that they do not scatter light, so giving the impression of transparency.  Whatever the reason, this is a startling and little  known creature.

A butterfly with transparent wings? Surely not. Yet there is a species that exhibits this trait. Take a close look at the incredible Glasswing, an enchanting species that confounds science. Greta oto may sound like the name of a silent movie star from Eastern Europe but is in fact the scientific name for one of the most exquisite - and little known - species of butterfly on the planer. This butterfly's claim to fame is that its wings, spanning up to six centimeters, are almost completely transparent. That's right, you can see just about right through them.

Link - via webphemera

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by taliesyn30.

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I love links like these. Thanks for posting the great photo! Can I mention one little pet peeve about people who post bug/animal info. on their blogs/websites?

You often don't mention where these amazing and sometimes exotic creatures can be found! Then I gotta do my own research in order to satisfy my curiousity - or, in some cases to assure myself that certain bugs/animals are not going to pop up in MY backyard! LOL

In other words, where is the glasswing butterfly's natural habitat?

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