Insects with Fairy Wings


For those ‘non-believers’ we have found another reason to think fairies are real! If you look closely at certain insects you will see something surprising; they have colourful wings that look more like they were made for a fairy then a bug. Some wasps and flies, like the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), have wings that may look dull and see-through, but they reflect light in patterns that resemble rainbows. People have been studying these insects for many years without seeing these colours but when researches in Sweden put these wings on a black background they discovered rainbows. Insects see colour differently than humans, so it is likely that these rainbow patterns help them communicate.

insect wings colour black background
Shevtsova, Ekaterina; Hansson, Christer; Janzen, Daniel H. and Kjærandsen, Jostein “Stable structural color patterns displayed on transparent insect wings” PNAS, January 3, 2011. 108(2), 668-673

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