The wing-scale microstructures associated with two species of <i>Papilio</i> butterfly are described and characterized. Despite close similarities in their structures, they do not exhibit analogous optical effects. With <i>Papilio palinurus</i>, deep modulations in its multilayering create bicolor reflectivity with strong polarization effects, and this leads to additive color mixing in certain visual systems. In contrast to this, <i>Papilio ulysses</i> features shallow multilayer modulation that produces monocolor reflectivity without significant polarization effects.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(230.4170) Optical devices : Multilayers
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color
Peter Vukusic, Roy Sambles, Christopher Lawrence, and Gavin Wakely, "Sculpted-multilayer optical effects in two species of Papilio butterfly," Appl. Opt. 40, 1116-1125 (2001)