Singling out Symmetry

Published on May 5th, 2013 | by enviroed


Symmetry of the Meadow Argus Butterfly

When a butterfly opens its wings out flat, the complexity of the symmetry in its features and markings are striking.

This Meadow Argus Butterfly stopped to take nectar from a Marigold, oblivioius to me marvelling at the symmetry. From the ‘loud’ multliple eye spots to the delicate hairs catching the sunlight, to the subtle lines of three yellow segments almost hidden onthe lower wings and the vital antenaee, the butterfly exhibits a wonderful symmetrical pattern that would be hard to replicate as a folded paper imitation. What is the point of the eye spots? Part for defense, part of attracting a mate, they are not yet fully understood.

Jeanie Clark

Ref. Kodandaramaiah, U. (2011) “The evolutionary significance of butterfly eyespots” Behavioral Ecology Vol. 22, No. 6, pp. 1264-1271[subscribe2]

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