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Sci Rep. 2014 Aug 8;4:6004. doi: 10.1038/srep06004.

Under- and over-water halves of Gyrinidae beetle eyes harbor different corneal nanocoatings providing adaptation to the water and air environments.

Author information

1
Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russian Federation.
2
Institute of Mathematical Problems of Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russian Federation.
3
Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russian Federation.
4
Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
5
1] Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino, Russian Federation [2] Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) inhabit water surfaces and possess unique eyes which are split into the overwater and underwater parts. In this study we analyze the micro- and nanostructure of the split eyes of two Gyrinidae beetles genera, Gyrinus and Orectochilus. We find that corneae of the overwater ommatidia are covered with maze-like nanostructures, while the corneal surface of the underwater eyes is smooth. We further show that the overwater nanostructures possess no anti-wetting, but the anti-reflective properties with the spectral preference in the range of 450-600 nm. These findings illustrate the adaptation of the corneal nanocoating of the two halves of an insect's eye to two different environments. The novel natural anti-reflective nanocoating we describe may find future technological applications.

PMID:
25103074
PMCID:
PMC5380007
DOI:
10.1038/srep06004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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