Anagrapha moth wing, details of the "Y"

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rjlittlefield
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Anagrapha moth wing, details of the "Y"

Post by rjlittlefield »

This is the wing of a moth, perhaps Anagrapha falcifera. It's a close relative of Autographa, such as the Silver Y moth that George photographed for us a couple of months ago.

The "Y" pattern on the front wing of these moths is well known.

What's probably not so well known is that the "Y" pattern is not composed of just differently colored scales, but rather differently structured scales.

I confess, I didn't know this either. I was just testing a new lens setup and used the moth wing because it's attractive. But when I looked at an "actual pixels" view, I couldn't make sense of what I saw. So I hauled out one of the "big guns", so to speak, and took a really close look. Here are the two pictures.

Canon 300D, Olympus 80mm f/4 bellows lens, full frame, stacked at 0.002".
Image

Canon 300D, 10X NA 0.25 microscope objective, 50% of actual pixels, stacked at 0.00033".
Image

At the higher magnification, we can see pretty clearly what's going on. The satin-textured "Y" mark is actually composed of many layers of individually almost transparent scales, lying very close together instead of coarsely shingled like the rest of the wing.

Hope you find this as interesting as I did!

--Rik

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Guess I might as well spend all 3 of my images today. :D

Here's full frame of the higher magnification shot.

Canon 300D, 10X NA 0.25 microscope objective, full frame = 2.2 mm wide, stacked at 0.00033".
Image

--Rik

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Some reall nice scale photos Rik. :D You mentioned some of them being almost transparant, I read somewhere that the scales actually are and that the colors we see are but the refraction of light off of the scales themselves. :)

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Amazing! :shock: These tilings are composed of stripes in fact. :D Transparent/white part looks like it was glued on the brown surface. I think I have a few photos of Anagrapha or Autographa moth. Must search my archives. :D
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

Cyclops
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Post by Cyclops »

Really neat images! =D>
I see a lot of silver Y about in summer, but not this one!
Canon 30D | Canon IXUS 265HS | Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro | EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 USM III | EF 50 f1.8 II | Slik 88 tripod | Apex Practicioner monocular microscope

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Very beautiful pictures RiK. It looks like natures artwork. I would assume that a stack of clear scales like that might reflect light in a different way that maybe we cannot see, but other moths or insects can see. Lets say it reflects the UV or infrared spectrum in some way our eyes would not see it but other animals might.....just thinking and it is very interesting :wink:
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
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Cyclops
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Post by Cyclops »

Now theres an idea! How about a close up like this but under UV light!
Canon 30D | Canon IXUS 265HS | Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro | EF 75-300 f4.5-5.6 USM III | EF 50 f1.8 II | Slik 88 tripod | Apex Practicioner monocular microscope

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Interference colours in butterflies wing scales are very interesting. I remember as a child seeing a case of butterflies pinned out and I could not understand why one butterfly had the top of one wing brown and the other blue. It was of course just caused by the angle of the wing and light. If I had moved to the other side to view it the colours would have been reversed.

See:-

http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/15.html

On the bottom picture just run your mouse pointer over the alternatives on the right of it and watch the picture change!

DaveW

MacroLuv
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Post by MacroLuv »

Yep! I found it in my archives.
:D
The meaning of beauty is in sharing with others.

P.S.
Noticing of my "a" and "the" and other grammar
errors are welcome. :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks, guys! :D I was pretty pleased by how these came out -- I'm glad you like them too.

It's a good question whether the stack of clear scales looks like something other than "bright", in other wavelengths. I really don't have a clue, and no equipment to get one. The moths are pretty common. Perhaps someone with a good UV source & a UV-sensitive camera could check one out.

Certainly in some butterflies, there are obvious patterns in UV that are invisible to our eyes. The yellow Sulphurs (Colias) are famous for this, and you can find numerous articles by just Googling on "Colias UV patterns". As far as I can see on a quick scan, there's still a science debate about why the patterns might be there. One common proposal is that it's to help the butterflies distinguish their own kind from other Colias, but some studies have found there's a lot more variation between individuals than between species, which would argue to the contrary. Another mystery...

The link that DaveW posted is a good one. I especially like to see it make the point that while the upper side of a Morpho is blue from interference, the underside is patterned from pigments. Pigments really are a lot more common, though you might never guess that from all the press that interference gets! See my other post tonight for some more discussion & illustration of that aspect.

--Rik

augusthouse
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Intrigued

Post by augusthouse »

Hi, First post. Can't contribute scientifically; but I'm intrigued by these images and would be interested in the details regarding technical setup.

I've been reading about stacking and DOF and Helicon Focus and have a grasp, thanks to the forum.

I'm currently looking into lighting for macro and Nikon PB6 bellows and would also like to know more about the use of microscope objectives. I'm currently using a D100 and specifically interested in butterfly wings.

Now I'll go back and marvel at these images

augusthouse

Australia

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

augusthouse, welcome to the forum!

For details of my setup, see http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... .php?t=155 and http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... php?t=5080.

You might also be interested in http://www.janrik.net/insects/ExtendedD ... summer.htm.

Write back after looking through those. Questions gladly answered! :D

--Rik

augusthouse
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Will do

Post by augusthouse »

Thanks for the links Rik,
I will have a good look and study the info and report back. This should make for an interesting weekend.

augusthouse
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Question

Post by augusthouse »

The first question is in regard to the interface between the objective and the bellows. Does it have a name or has it been specially tooled? I'm using a Nikon PB-6 bellows and D100.

Second question, the dual goose-neck fibre optic illuminater. I'm looking at one that is powered by a 150 watt halogen with a max intensity of 3200 degrees K. I'm wondering if I am on the right track in considering this type of item as the adjustable light source for illuminating the mini diffuser, light tent?

I'll look into Charlie's backlighting method later; at the moment I'm 'stacking' all this info into my brain and it is slowly coming into focus.

Still absorbing the other info - fascinating!

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Post by rjlittlefield »

augusthouse,

For interface between objective and bellows, I'm using custom-tooled parts, but that's largely because I have a lathe and I like to play with it. I don't know whether there are commercial adapters for RMS (microscope objective thread) to Nikon bayonet. A simple substitute would be to acquire a plastic Nikon body cap, bore a hole in its center large enough to accept the objective threads, and fasten the objective in place with something crude like duct tape. That's pretty much what I did for the egg photo in the LepSocNews article. If I had not carefully trimmed the duct tape, Figure 6 of the LepSocNews article would show lots of it holding the objective to the front of the bellows. :D

Regarding the fiber optic illuminator, I bought mine from Precision*World on eBay. It appears identical to the HEI-FOI-110 illuminator and HEI-DP-18 dual-pipe light guide sold routinely by Howard Electronic Instruments Inc at http://www.howardelectronics.com/HEISco ... ators.html for essentially the same price, or even a bit cheaper. The spec on those is 150W, 3000 degrees K. I don't know why the difference in color temperature spec, but it's not significant anyway. I usually have mine turned down way below maximum, which drops the color temperature hugely, and I compensate by using custom color balance from a neutral card.

--Rik

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