North American Butterfly Association
National Butterfly Center
Hidalgo County, TX
Here is a collage made up of four different photos I took of the male Silver Emperor I came across on the National Butterfly Center’s Hackberry Trail this morning. These photos demonstrate how the iridescent blue sheen that the male of this species sometimes displays, is dependent on the angle of light hitting the wings.
In photos #1 and #2 the blue sheen is not present at all. However in photo #3 there is a slight amount of the blue sheen apparent while in photo #4 there is significantly more. Why is this? Because the blue is a refractive color and needs to be viewed at just the right angle to be visible. At the perfect angle, the blue sheen would actually be visible on both wings at the same time.
About the sightings pages
© 2021 North American Butterfly Association.