Close-ups of butterfly wing scales! You should definitely click on these images to get the full detail.
I’ve paired each amazing close-up (by macro photographer Linden Gledhill) with an image of the corresponding butterfly or moth. The featured lepidoptera* are (in order of appearance):
*Lepidoptera (the scientific order that includes moths and butterflies) means “scaly wing.” The scales get their color not from pigment - but from microscopic structures that manipulate light.
The great science youtube channel “Smarter Every Day” has two videos on this very subject that I highly recommend: