Butterfly shot a clear winner

On the underside of a leaf in the southern Andes of Ecuador, a clearwing butterfly clings.

The butterfly (Hypomenitis enigma) is remarkable because its wing scales are shaped in such a way that light passes straight through them, rendering them transparent.

The photograph was taken by Marianne Elias of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in France. It has been honoured as the winner of this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition, an annual search for photographs that variously illustrate ecological research undertaken around the world.

Ms Elias’ work topped an impressive pool of 140 entries.

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