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Proc Biol Sci. 2004 Mar 22;271(1539):581-7.

Wavelength-selective and anisotropic light-diffusing scale on the wing of the Morpho butterfly.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan. syoshi@mph.phys.sci.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

We have found that cover scales on the wing of the butterfly Morpho didius possess specially designed microscopic structures for wavelength-selective reflection and contribute considerably to the brilliant blue colour of the wing. In addition, the cover scale functions as an anisotropic optical diffuser which diffuses light only in one plane, while it makes the range of reflection narrower in the orthogonal plane. The quantitative analyses for the wavelength-selection mechanism and the peculiar optical diffuser are given and the role of such a special optical effect is discussed from physical and biological viewpoints.

PMID:
15156915
PMCID:
PMC1691634
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2003.2618
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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