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Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Jul 7;279(1738):2524-30. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.2651. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Brilliant camouflage: photonic crystals in the diamond weevil, Entimus imperialis.

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  • 1Computational Physics, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Groningen 9747AG, The Netherlands. b.d.wilts@rug.nl

Abstract

The neotropical diamond weevil, Entimus imperialis, is marked by rows of brilliant spots on the overall black elytra. The spots are concave pits with intricate patterns of structural-coloured scales, consisting of large domains of three-dimensional photonic crystals that have a diamond-type structure. Reflectance spectra measured from individual scale domains perfectly match model spectra, calculated with anatomical data and finite-difference time-domain methods. The reflections of single domains are extremely directional (observed with a point source less than 5°), but the special arrangement of the scales in the concave pits significantly broadens the angular distribution of the reflections. The resulting virtually angle-independent green coloration of the weevil closely approximates the colour of a foliaceous background. While the close-distance colourful shininess of E. imperialis may facilitate intersexual recognition, the diffuse green reflectance of the elytra when seen at long-distance provides cryptic camouflage.

PMID:
22378806
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3350696
Free PMC Article
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