A minute filament projecting from the barb of a feather.
- Well known examples include the structural colors produced by brilliant iridescent butterfly wing scales and avian feather barbules, such as the peacocks tail.
- The strongly iridescent colors of bird feathers are produced by arrays of melanin granules in the barbules of feathers.
- The barbs, in turn, may bear barbules which may hook on to the barbules of an adjoining barb.
Mid 19th century: from Latin barbula, diminutive of barba 'beard'.
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