As I “skeletonize” more and more butterfly species, there have been some interesting surprises — one being Graphium weiskei or the Purple Mountain Swallowtail. This species of butterfly is known for it’s stunning colors, unique in the animal world. After I removed the scales (skeletonization) on the left side of the butterfly, the vibrant green, blue and pink colors remained. This was surprising and after a little research discovered these are very rare pigments (sarpedobilin and ommin) that are part of the wing – not scales on the wing. I love my job!
Insects in Art & Culture Graphium weiskei skeletonized