The blue wings of this dragonfly may be surprisingly alive
An adult insect wing is basically dead. So what in the world were tiny respiratory channels doing in a wing membrane of a morpho dragonfly? Rhainer Guillermo Ferreira was so jolted by a scanning electron microscope image showing what looked like skinny, branching tracheal tubes in a morpho wing that he called in another entomologist for a second opinion. Guillermo Ferreira, then at Kiel University in Germany, showed the image to a colleague who also was “shocked,” he remembers. A third entomologist was called in. Shock all around.