The 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