The Structure of Color

tigerbeetle.001The Six-spotted Tiger Beetle, Cicindela sexguttata, attracts attention with its brilliant emerald green color as it flits along woodland trails. Cicindela sexguttata is a common early spring tiger beetle species in Indiana. How the beetle produces its beautiful color has been a subject of speculation and interest for centuries. One of the early investigations of the color was by CW Mason in 1926. At the time, the green color was thought to be due either selective reflection (similar to colored metals) or to thin films. We now know through the use of modern biological and microscopic techniques far more about biological iridescences and reflective colors. The Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle elicits admiration from nature lovers. For centuries the flashy color has inspired scientists to research the details of color production.

C.W. Mason. 1927. Structural Colors in Insects. III J. Phys. Chem., 1927, 31 (12), pp 1856–1872
DOI: 10.1021/j150282a008

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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1 Response to The Structure of Color

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