The vision of a butterfly is only about five percent of what humans see. Butterflies see a much narrower spectrum than we do.
Butterflies can’t see their own wings the same way we would see them because they lack the visual range to look back at themselves.
However, some insects can see ultraviolet light, which is not visible to the human eye. This means they may be able to see parts of their bodies that are invisible to us, such as the ultraviolet markings on their wings that attract mates.
Vision of butterflies
The position of its eyes limits the range of vision of a butterfly; it cannot see what is directly behind it. However, its eye structure allows it to see a wide range of angles over its head and body.
Butterflies have compound eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses called ommatidia. Butterfly ommatidia are arranged in curved rows that provide overlapping visual fields and allow for depth perception.
Butterfly ommatidia are more elongated than those of other insects and provide for a greater field of vision (up to 350 degrees in some species). This means that a butterfly can generally see from almost directly above itself to almost directly below itself — although not at the same time.
This means that if it moves its head down and looks forward from under its thorax, it should be able to see most or all of its wings (although the view would be fuzzy).
Can butterflies see the color of their wings?
There is no doubt that butterflies have beautiful colors. Each species has a distinct color pattern. Sometimes the colors are meant to fool predators, and sometimes they are used to attract mates.
Since butterflies can’t look behind them, they can’t look at their wings, and they cannot see the color of their wings.
The eyes are found on the head, but there are also little light-sensing organs called ocelli that are located in other places on the butterfly’s body.
Charles Darwin was among the first scientists to write about butterfly vision, and he believed that their eyes were more like cameras than human eyes. He thought that their sight was sharp and accurate near the center of each eye but blurry around the edges. In this way, butterfly compound eyes mimic a camera lens that is sharp in the center and blurry towards the edges.
However, recent research has suggested that butterflies may instead have acute vision across their entire compound eye. This research has been based on studies of butterfly brain morphology (the shape of their brains) and examining how much certain butterfly species rely on vision versus other senses when they’re flying around in search of food.
What color can butterflies see?
Most butterflies can see red, yellow, blue, and green, but there are also species of butterflies that can see other colors as well. For example, some butterflies can see ultraviolet or “super-violet” light — light that has a higher frequency than what humans can see as violet.
They cannot see the color blue. The reason for this is that butterflies have very few color receptors.
In short, butterflies are able to detect the visible spectrum of light but they aren’t able to see their own wings. It is important that this difference be made because there is a difference between being able to “see” something and perceiving its presence. While we may not be able to see an object, we can perceive its presence; in this case, butterflies can perceive the presence of their own wings. However, the exact way in which butterflies perceive some details of their wings remains unclear.