Butterfly Eye

What does a butterfly eye look like?

A butterfly has two compound eyes.

Each compound eye has up to 17,000 ommatidia. Ommatidia are smaller round eyes within the larger compound eye. Ommatidia are image-forming eyes or light-receptor eyes, each with a short visual focus, that acts like a kaleidoscope.

High Brown Fritillary Butterfly

High Brown Fritillary Butterfly

 

One ommatidium has a cone and cornea which form a lens-type structure. It can detect light, dark, movement, and iridescent colours.

A full circle of sight is 360 degrees, and a butterfly can see 314 degrees around itself. A human has 120 degrees of vision because a human can only see only in front and a little bit on the sides.

A butterfly eye cannot blink. It has a labial palpi which keeps dust away from its eye.

High Brown Fritillary Butterfly

High Brown Fritillary Butterfly

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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