Glasswing Butterflies

Glasswing butterflies: a miracle in nature

Greta oto otherwise known as the Glasswing butterfly is a stand-out butterfly for the fact that you can see through its wings!

The reason that their wings are transparent is because they barely reflect any light. A wide spectrum of light—from infrared to visible to ultraviolet—travels straight through the wing tissue. The nanostructures on the surface of the butterfly’s wings are completely random, researchers report in Nature Communications. They seem to be scattered onto the wing surface with no regard for regular size or structured distribution. This means that when rays of light strike the surface of the wing, one or two rays are reflected, but the majority of the light can pass straight through the wing, unhindered by the surface.

Studies of the glasswing butterfly wings are leading to insights for water-repellent technology. Using the random nanostructure surface of the glasswing butterfly for inspiration, we can create coatings for digital screens that can be seen in the glaring sunlight. The first prototypes of this technology have also indicated that this type of surface coating is water-repellent and self-cleaning! Another great example of bio-inspiration.

We found this information here, and the picture here