Image of the Day: On the Wing

 A model helps recapitulate the geometric patterning of insect wings.

Sukanya Charuchandra
Sep 21, 2018
Damselfly wings

Anew developmental model recreates the vein patterns of insect wings, reported in PNAS on September 17. While previous studies have focused on analyzing primary veins that are largely shared across a species, the formation of secondary veins that are unique to an individual insect is a mystery. By scrutinizing images of 468 different wing patterns from 232 species belonging to the order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), the researchers proposed a model to predict secondary vein development. Their algorithm successfully reiterated secondary vein patterning for remotely related winged insects. 

J. Hoffmann et al., “A simple developmental model recapitulates complex insect wing venation patterns,” PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1721248115, 2018.