Artist: Lisa Palombo
The wings of butterflies, like the wings of flies and bees are clear. The chitin/protein composite secreted to make the wing membrane is transparent. The color of butterfly wings is due entirely to the presence of scales. Rub the scales off a butterfly wing and only the veins and clear membrane will be left.
Scales are produced by cells in the wing. Each hair cell produces only a single scale. Each scale is a single color. Butterflies produce two…
Source: Living With Insects Blog