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Zoolog Sci. 2002 Feb;19(2):175-83.

Wing colors of Chrysozephyrus butterflies (Lepidoptera; Lycaenidae): ultraviolet reflection by males.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan. ima@ci.zool.kyoto-u.ac.jp


Wing colors of the four species of Chrysozephyrus butterflies were analyzed by a spectrophotometer. As the dorsal wing surface of males showed a strong reflectance when the specimen was tilted, measurements were made by the tilting method. The dorsal wing surface of males which appears green to the human eye reflected UV (315-350 nm) as well as green light (530-550 nm). The reflectance rate of UV to visible green light varied among species with a higher rate for C. hisamatsusanus and C. ataxus, and a lower rate for C. smaragdinus and C. brillantinus. The peak wavelength and the peak height did not shift when the specimen was exposed to direct sunlight at least for 16 hr. Artificial removal of scales by scratching the wing surface decreased reflectance. Blue marks on the forewings of C. brillantinus, C. hisamatsusanus and C. ataxus females reflected UV to visible light of short wavelength, and orange marks on the dorsal surface of the forewing and the ventral surface of the hindwing of C. samaragdinus females showed a higher reflectance at longer wavelengths.

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