The 2016 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Contest winners were announced last month and once again feature compelling images of insects that double as art. Jochen Schroeder makes excellent use of modern stacking technology to give fine detail while maintaining depth of field seen in this image.
The facets of the compound eye can be seen at the upper right. The butterfly head is covered by bright orange hairs that contrast with the black of the proboscis giving the image a compelling color contrast.
The butterfly proboscis is formed by the fusion of elongated left and right mouthparts that are cemented together after emergence from the pupa. The proboscis, which is much longer than the head, can be uncoiled by muscles to insert deep into flowers to reach drinks of nectar plants provide for pollinators. The mouthparts contain the protein, resilin, which makes them flexible and return to their resting shape, a neat coil. The coil is much less awkward for flight than a long dangling proboscis might be.