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Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 1, Iss. 6 — Jun. 13, 2006

Detailed optical study of the transparent wing membranes of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea

I. R. Hooper, P. Vukusic, and R. J. Wootton  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 11, pp. 4891-4897 (2006)

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The optical properties of transparent single membranes on the wings of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea have been investigated. These membranes comprise one central thick cuticular layer covered dorsally and ventrally with typical odonatan wax pruinosity. Optical characterisation of individual membranes reveals they can support optical guided modes comprising differential polarisation reflection. We suggest this may offer an intraspecific signalling channel. The guided modes’ characteristics depend on membrane thickness and the nature of the wax pruinosity. We accurately modelled multiple optical data sets simultaneously, thereby inaugurally quantifying the roughness of the pruinosity and the complex refractive indices of the wax and the odonatan cuticle.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(310.2790) Thin films : Guided waves
(310.6860) Thin films : Thin films, optical properties

ToC Category:
Thin Films

Original Manuscript: March 22, 2006
Revised Manuscript: May 3, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: May 10, 2006
Published: May 29, 2006

Virtual Issues
Vol. 1, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

I. R. Hooper, P. Vukusic, and R. J. Wootton, "Detailed optical study of the transparent wing membranes of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea," Opt. Express 14, 4891-4897 (2006)

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