Butterfly Anatomy

bob_71(z7 MD)July 21, 2012

Not a day goes by when I fail to notice something about the creatures in our world that I had not noticed before.

I noticed today while viewing a photograph of a Painted Lady that the structure of their eyes was totally different than I had envisioned. I had pictured in my mind (influenced, I am sure, by my knowledge of the human eye) a sphere like a marble. As you can see from the DEEPLY cropped attached photo, their eye is not solid at all but rather each eye is more like half a walnut shell with the top portion cut off.

The cutoff portion diminishes their rearward vision significantly which surprises me. Their high rate of mortality would seem to me to have triggered an evolutionary change in the design. Perhaps the structural design is influenced by the storage space requirements of the proboscis when not in use.

What a wonderful world we live in!


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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)


I find butterfly eyes fascinating, too. The patterns aren't always the same. Trying to get good, clear photos that show the eyes is a challenge. And then, you start noticing the details. Differences in antennae are interesting as well, especially when they help you ID certain species. Thanks so much for your post and sharing what you observed.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 9:26AM
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