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Butterfly wing colours: Scale beads make white pierid wings brighter

Stavenga, D; Stowe, Sally; Siebke, Katharina; Zeil, Jochen; Arikawa, K


The wing-scale morphologies of the pierid butterflies Pieris rapae (small white) and Delias nigrina (common jezabel), and the heliconine Heliconius melpomene are compared and related to the wing-reflectance spectra. Light scattering at the wing scales determines the wing reflectance, but when the scales contain an absorbing pigment, reflectance is suppressed in the absorption wavelength range of the pigment. The reflectance of the white wing areas of P. rapae, where the scales are studded with...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2004
Type: Journal article
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2004.2781


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