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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 2 — Jan. 28, 2013
  • pp: 1479–1488

Subtle design changes control the difference in colour reflection from the dorsal and ventral wing-membrane surfaces of the damselfly Matronoides cyaneipennis

M.R. Nixon, A.G. Orr, and P. Vukusic  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 1479-1488 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.001479


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Abstract

The hind wings of males of the damselfly Matronoides cyaneipennis exhibit iridescence that is blue dorsally and green ventrally. These structures are used semiotically in agonistic and courtship display. Transmission electron microscopy reveals these colours are due to two near-identical 5-layer distributed Bragg reflectors, one placed either side of the wing membrane. Interestingly the thicknesses of corresponding layers in each distributed Bragg reflector are very similar for all but the second layer from each outer surface. This one key difference creates the significant disparity between the reflected spectra from the distributed Bragg reflectors and the observed colours of either side of the wing. Modelling indicates that modifications to the thickness of this layer alone create a greater change in the peak reflected wavelength than is observed for similar modifications to the thickness of any other layer. This results in an optimised and highly effective pair of semiotic reflector systems, based on extremely comparable design parameters, with relatively low material and biomechanical costs.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(240.0310) Optics at surfaces : Thin films
(310.1620) Thin films : Interference coatings
(310.4165) Thin films : Multilayer design
(310.6188) Thin films : Spectral properties

ToC Category:
Thin Films

History
Original Manuscript: November 12, 2012
Revised Manuscript: December 13, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 17, 2012
Published: January 14, 2013

Virtual Issues
Vol. 8, Iss. 2 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Citation
M.R. Nixon, A.G. Orr, and P. Vukusic, "Subtle design changes control the difference in colour reflection from the dorsal and ventral wing-membrane surfaces of the damselfly Matronoides cyaneipennis," Opt. Express 21, 1479-1488 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-2-1479


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