A Hair-y Situation

Growing up in America as an Asian-American, I have always been dissatisfied with my hair. Inundated by media which featured beautiful Caucasian women and seeing the silky, bright color of my classmates, I often found myself frowning at the dark, coarse, Asian hair of my ancestors. As a result, for the past 8 years of…

Butterfly scales through the lens of a Foldscope

I was really excited to receive a new Foldscope kit recently, and after corresponding with Manu online, we agreed that butterfly scales represent a nice project that others can easily get involved with! Here are some previous posts on the subject: https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=10080, & https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=16562 Here’s magnification of a butterfly eyespot and through the lens of a #Foldscope below,…

Butterfly Wing Structure – Transparency Edition

In the past I have posted about some of my experiences with the Foldscope in the Amazon rainforest, and more recently about investigating structural color in butterflies in the field (see here and here). I even just realized that others have made posts contributing to a butterfly scale database! For this particular trip to Ecuador,…

Butterfly Wings – A World of Color

I’ve had the chance to observe some interesting organisms and structures with my Foldscope thus far and my new favorite subject is the butterfly wing. Butterflies and moths belong to the order Lepidoptera and all members have scales covering their bodies and wings (in Latin, lepis means scale and ptera means wing). With over 180,000 described species,…

Wing Scales & Structural vs Pigment Color

  In the Peruvian Amazon, one can find a stunning array of butterflies along the river banks during the day. But wait, that’s no butterfly! The beautiful green Lepidoptera in the image above is actually a diurnal moth in the family Uraniidae. These moths are commonly seen gathered at mud puddles where they lap up important nutrients…

Mystery of salt ponds of San Francisco 

So many of you have taken a flight into San Francisco airport and wondered at this view from your airplane – a multi colored pallet of livig art. At first, it might not be obvious that it’s living art; the colors are so bright – it’s as if someone really put color in your pond. …