Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Jul 27;363(1502):2465-80. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2007.2258.

A review of the diversity and evolution of photonic structures in butterflies, incorporating the work of John Huxley (The Natural History Museum, London from 1961 to 1990).

Author information

Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK.


The photonic structures of butterfly wings are among the most anatomically diverse of all those in nature, giving rise to an unrivalled display of structural colours. These have recently become the focus of research by workers in a variety of disciplines, stimulated by their potential applications to technology ('biomimetics'). This interest, together with the discovery of unpublished electron micrographs taken by the late Dr John Huxley (Natural History Museum, London), prompted this review of butterfly photonics in general. The current work provides a synopsis of the literature to date, covering the diversity and evolution of these optical structures and incorporating Huxley's work, which represents an important biomimetic and evolutionary database on its own. This review deals with butterfly photonic devices according to the parts of the butterfly scales on which they occur. In this way, the information is ripe for evolutionary study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center