Ultraviolet Reflection of a Male Butterfly: Interference Color Caused by Thin-Layer Elaboration of Wing Scales

  title={Ultraviolet Reflection of a Male Butterfly: Interference Color Caused by Thin-Layer Elaboration of Wing Scales},
  author={Helen T. Ghiradella and Daniel J. Aneshansley and Thomas Eisner and Robert E. Silberglied and Howard Everest Hinton},
  pages={1214 - 1217}
Males of the butterfly Eurema lisa, like many other members of the family Pieridae, reflect ultraviolet light. The color is structural rather than pigmentary, and originates from optical interference in a microscopic lamellar system associated with ridges on the outer scales of the wing. The dimensions and angular orientation of the lamellar system conform to predictions based on physical measurement of the spectral characteristics, including "color shifts" with varying angles of incidence, of… 

Spectral reflectance properties of iridescent pierid butterfly wings

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Evolution of color and vision of butterflies.

Structural ultraviolet ornamentation in the butterfly Hypolimnas bolina L. (Nymphalidae): visual, morphological and ecological properties

The high phenotypic variance of structural wing colouration in the common eggfly is consistent with a putative role for this male-limited trait as a sexual ornament in males of this territorial species.

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Wing Colors of Chrysozephyrus Butterflies (Lepidoptera;Lycaenidae): Ultraviolet Reflection by Males

Wing colors of the four species of Chrysozephyrus butterflies were analyzed by a spectrophotometer. As the dorsal wing surface of males showed a strong reflectance when the specimen was tilted,

Wing colors based on arrangement of the multilayer structure of wing scales in lycaenid butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera)

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University of Groningen Evolution of color and vision of butterflies Stavenga , Doekele ; Arikawa , Kentaro

The corneal nipple array and the tapetum, optical structures that many but not all butterflies share with moths, suggest that moths are ancestral to butterflies, in agreement with molecular phylogeny.

Colors and pterin pigmentation of pierid butterfly wings.

Ultraviolet colours in butterflies: intra- or inter-specific communication?

  • C. BruntonM. Majerus
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1995
It is suggested that variation in uv reflectance in male Pierid butterflies is more likely to be associated with mate choice by females or with male-male interactions, and to recognise particular species on the basis of uv colours.



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Experiments carried out to elucidate the mechanism of this phenomenon showed that it is due to the difference of pterin content between the male and the female wings.

’Gynandromorphic Effect‘ and the Optical Nature of Hidden Wing-pattern in Gonepteryx rhamni L. (Lepidoptera, Pieridae)

Examining the optical characters of insect wings in connexion with the visual perception of insects, and taking photographs using ultra-violet rays, found that the smooth, yellow surface of the Gonepteryx rhamni wing has a real pattern which is invisible to the human eye.

Physiological evidence for color receptors in the eye of a butterfly.

Spectral sensitivity functions indicating more than 1 kind of receptor in the compound eye have been reported for 2 species of moth and a single species of butterfly.

Ultraviolet Video-Viewing: The Television Camera as an Insect Eve

A television camtiera, like the eyes of some insects, is sensitive to ultraviolet light, and when equipped with an appropriate ultraviolet-transmitting lens, such a camera can be used for the direct examination of ultraviolet reflection patterns that are invisible to us, but visible to inisects.

Silberglied, thesis

  • 1969

Optics of Thin Films (North

  • 1960