butterfly

  • Butterfly shot a clear winner

    Winner of prestigious ecology photo comp announced.

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

    Animals March 10, 2019
  • Butterfly pupae 'twerk', but we don't know why

    Researchers discover mechanism unique among insects.

    Butterfly pupae create high frequency twittering sounds by twerking. New research published in the Annals of the Ent...

    Animals September 16, 2018
  • A rancher dies, and butterflies lose the farm

    An evolutionary trap is identified as the cause of local extinction.

    Research in the journal Nature reveals that changing patterns of land use can tempt organisms into cruel and deadly e...

    Sustainability May 9, 2018
  • Butterfly wing inspires nanotech glaucoma sensor

    Eye implant offers hope for tackling the second leading cause of blindness. Andrew Masterson repo...

    Nanostructures that give a species of butterfly almost perfectly transparent wings  have inspired the proof-of-concep...

    Technology April 30, 2018
  • A very hungry caterpillar

    Larvae of the Richmond birdwing butterfly are born ravenous.

    The Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondi) is a species that is found across north-east Australia, thou...

    Animals April 23, 2018
  • Butterfly mimics flipped a single gene

    Swallowtails show an amazing variety of shapes and patterns – but the ability arose just once.

    The swallowtail butterfly family, Papilionidae, contains over 550 species. The females of them are known to have feat...

    Biology November 13, 2017
  • A butterfly with wings as clear as glass

    The transparent wings of Greta oto hold microscopic secrets.

    The transparent wings of Greta oto, the glass-winged butterfly. Credit: David Tiller Despite its name the glass-wing...

    Biology July 24, 2017
  • How butterfly wings get their colour

    Growth of crystalline structures give their wings colour.

    Close-up image of the underside of T. opisena butterfly wings showing overlapping green-colored scales (left) and a z...

    Biology April 26, 2017
  • How butterflies become blue

    Azure created by tiny structures that selectively reflect light.

    There are no natural blue pigments in biological tissues, so animals resort to optical tricks to produce luxurious bl...

    Physics December 15, 2016
  • How butterflies control their twisty-turny flight

    Don’t be fooled by the seemingly drunken flight of a butterfly.

    Butterflies are master flight manipulators. Their erratic bobbing and weaving has a purpose – to shake off predators ...

    Mathematics April 1, 2016
  • The spectrum of animal colour vision

    Why do other animals need so many?

    The natural world is awash with colour –the dazzling plummage of parrots, vast fields of wildflowers. But we humans o...

    Biology March 11, 2016
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