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Proc Biol Sci. Mar 22, 2004; 271(1539): 581–587.
PMCID: PMC1691634
Wavelength-selective and anisotropic light-diffusing scale on the wing of the Morpho butterfly.
Shinya Yoshioka and Shuichi Kinoshita
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan.
Shinya Yoshioka: syoshi/at/
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.
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Selected References
These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Vukusic P, Sambles JR, Lawrence CR, Wootton RJ. Quantified interference and diffraction in single Morpho butterfly scales. Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Jul 22;266(1427):1403–1403. [PMC free article]
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