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  Glow-in-the-dark butterfly born
Updated 12 March 2004, 10.31
Butterfly eyes, Biology Letters
US scientists have made a butterfly that glows in the dark, by genetically modifying it with DNA from a jellyfish.

The African butterfly's genes were mixed with the two genes that make jellyfish glow in dark, deep waters.

A similar genetic experiment was done on a piglet three years ago which made its trotters and snout glow.

The first ever fluorescent green butterfly was created as an experiment to find out about the different wing patterns and colours on butterflies.

Fact File
Butterflies
Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow
There are about 24,000 species of butterflies
Many butterflies taste with their feet
Butterflies and insects have skeletons on the outside, called the exoskeleton
The glowing butterfly has not been made so that it can find its way in the dark.

As the Bicyclus anynana butterfly develops, it will help researchers understand what happens to its genes to change the colour patterns on its wings.

The changes that happen could be down to environmental factors, they said.

This particular type of butterfly has specific shapes on its wing tips which look like eyes.

Researchers think they are used to fool birds because they do not know where the butterfly's real head is.

This could give the butterfly more chance of survival, because birds try to attack their heads first.

The research was published in a scientific journal.

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