SEM Lab

mcguire-sem04.jpgTo study tiny Lepidoptera structures, scientists utilize scanning electron microscopes with a beam of electrons that bounces off structures and clearly shows 3-D structures not easily seen with a light microscope. These images show details in scales, antennae, compound eyes and minute sensory organs and cells used for hearing, touch, sound and even chemical detection.

Scanning electron microscopes are able to magnify objects up to 1 million times. When studing Lepidoptera, scientists typically view items from 40 to 5,000 times their normal size.