Some butterflies do not have scales…or have very few of them. There are a few specimens in Brookside Gardens’ Wings of Fancy exhibit and I’m always thrilled to see them. I rarely spot them on my own and most of the time I’m busy with my volunteer job as a ‘flight attendant’ so I can’t take pictures. Recently I was walking around the exhibit – not volunteering – and I had my camera and a tripod. There was a school group visiting the exhibit and they’d spotted a clearwing!
The butterfly was focused on breakfast of nectar from some white flowers (the proboscis was not rolled up between flowers….the insect was hungry!) so was staying put long enough for pictures.
The ribs that provide the structure for the wings are more obvious when the wing is clear. In the case of this butterfly they are a metallic copper color. Sometime that color is reflected in the thin membrane that is the wing.
There do appear to be a few scales on this time of clearwing – on the upper edge of the wing…some white and copper color.
Seeing a clearwing is one of the things that makes a walk in the exhibit special.