Author: Cramer, Pieter.
Title: De uitlandsche kapellen voorkomende in de drie waereld-deelen : Asia, Africa en America = Papillons exotiques des trois parties du monde : l’Asie, l’Afrique et l’Amerique.
Imprint: Amsteldam : S.J. Baalde, 1779-1782.
Physical Description: 1 print : engraving : on leaf 23 x 29 cm.
Page: Pl. XIII
Call Number: QE882 .E2 O93 1842 Rare Book
Solar Energy Inspiration From Butterflies
By SINDYA N. BHANOO
In the image: The structure of butterflies’ wing scales helps them harvest light to stay warm.
Butterfly wings are not just beautiful. They are also sophisticated collectors of solar energy that help butterflies stay warm, and researchers say that their shinglelike structure could provide valuable clues into developing better solar technology.
“Light manipulation and light-harvesting abilities are important for the performance of solar energy devices,” said Tongxiang Fan, a materials scientist at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China who is leading the effort. He and his colleagues reported their findings last week at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Diego.
The scientists used an electron microscope to study the wing structure of two species of black butterflies. (They picked black wings because they absorb the maximum amount of sunlight.)
They found that the wings are composed of elongated rectangular scales, arranged a bit like overlapping shingles on a roof. The scales on each type of butterfly also had steep ridges, with small holes on either side leading to a second layer.
These features direct light to the second layer, helping the butterfly to capture a lot of heat.
The researchers also built a model to harness solar power the same way the butterflies’ wings do.
“The prototype is very, very effective,” Dr. Fan said. He and his team are now working to create a commercial product that uses the wings as inspiration. “This is only the first step,” he said.
Source: The New York Times
So this is how to make me super excited: Stick me in a museum full of natural history wonder.
I could have stayed looking at the thousands of different specimens all day….all week in fact! At one point I got so excited that I nearly cried?? Yeah, I’m real special like that.
I’ve taken SO many photographs of the different collections that it’ll keep me busy drawing for months! Just what I wanted :)
Transformations of Ophiderinae [most “Ophiderinae” now fall under subfamily Calpinae, family Noctuidae]
The owlet moths are hardy and robust, and exist throughout the world. The caterpillars of the family are largely toxic, thanks to the plants they feed upon.
Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, vol. XI. 1885.