Butterflies have thousands of scales on their wings. The scales are found on the upper and lower wing surfaces and are responsible for the characteristic patterns and colors of butterfly wings. The scales are typically small, with most measuring between 0.1 and 0.2 mm in length. They are also very thin, usually only about 0.05 mm thick. The scales are typically rectangular or triangular in shape and are made of chitin, a structural component found in the exoskeletons of insects and other arthropods.

The weight of a single butterfly scale is so light that it is almost weightless, measuring at less than a milligram.

The scales on the wings of a butterfly are arranged in overlapping rows, and the scales can be different colors, depending on the species of butterfly. Some species have scales that are iridescent, which means they change color depending on the angle at which they are viewed. Together with wing shape, wing venation and other features they help to identify a butterfly species.

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