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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 41, Iss. 3 — Jan. 20, 2002
  • pp: 437–441

Grazing-incidence iridescence from a butterfly wing

Chris Lawrence, Peter Vukusic, and Roy Sambles  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 41, Issue 3, pp. 437-441 (2002)

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The Troides magellanus butterfly exhibits a specialized iridescence that is visible only when its hind wings are both illuminated and viewed at near-grazing incidence. The effect is due to the presence of a constrained bigrating structure in its wing scales that has been previously observed in only one other species of butterfly (Ancyluris meliboeus). However, whereas the Ancyluris presents wide-angle flickering iridescence, the Troides butterfly uses pigmentary coloration at all but a narrow tailored range of angles, producing a characteristic effect.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1950) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction gratings
(050.1960) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction theory
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(170.1420) Medical optics and biotechnology : Biology

Original Manuscript: April 28, 2001
Revised Manuscript: October 17, 2001
Published: January 20, 2002

Chris Lawrence, Peter Vukusic, and Roy Sambles, "Grazing-incidence iridescence from a butterfly wing," Appl. Opt. 41, 437-441 (2002)

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