The wing-scale microstructures associated with two species of Papilio butterfly are described and characterized. Despite close similarities in their structures, they do not exhibit analogous optical effects. With Papilio palinurus, 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, Papilio ulysses 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)