Most butterflies sport colourful, eye-catching wings. But some species flit about using mostly transparent wings. Researchers have now uncovered the tricks that one of these — the glasswing butterfly (Greta oto) — uses to hide in plain sight.
Researchers viewed the wings of these Central American butterflies under the microscope. There they spied sparse, spindly scales overlaying a see-through wing membrane. That membrane also has antireflective properties. It’s that combo that makes these insects so stealthy.