American Copper Pigment

Lycaena phlaeas, The American Copper Coppers and other grassland butterflies can benefit from landscape management practices designed to enhance butterfly populations

Lycaena phlaeas, The American Copper

The American Copper is a beautiful orange and copper color butterfly commonly seen in Indiana. The orange color in its forewings is due to the presence of an orange pigment in its scales. The pigment is a derivative of 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid that is covalently bound to protein in the scales. Hydrolysis of the protein releases free 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid. In living organisms, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid is produced from the amino acid tryptophan. Orange pigments derived from 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid are common in fungi but rare in butterfly wings.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an 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.
This entry was posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to American Copper Pigment

  1. anastaciast says:

    So…..what we really have here is a flying fungus!

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