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Colour formation on the wings of the butterfly Hypolimnas salmacis by scale stacking

Siddique, Radwanul Hasan and Vignolini, Silvia and Bartels, Carolin and Wacker, Irene and Hölscher, Hendrik (2016) Colour formation on the wings of the butterfly Hypolimnas salmacis by scale stacking. Scientific Reports, 6 . Art. No. 36204. ISSN 2045-2322. PMCID PMC5090330. doi:10.1038/srep36204.

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The butterfly genus Hypolimnas features iridescent blue colouration in some areas of its dorsal wings. Here, we analyse the mechanisms responsible for such colouration on the dorsal wings of Hypolimnas salmacis and experimentally demonstrate that the lower thin lamina in the white cover scales causes the blue iridescence. This outcome contradicts other studies reporting that the radiant blue in Hypolimnas butterflies is caused by complex ridge-lamellar architectures in the upper lamina of the cover scales. Our comprehensive optical study supported by numerical calculation however shows that scale stacking primarily induces the observed colour appearance of Hypolimnas salmacis.

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Siddique, Radwanul Hasan0000-0001-7494-5857
Additional Information:© 2016 The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit Received: 09 June 2016; Accepted: 12 October 2016; Published online: 02 November 2016. We thank Andrea Gerstner (Stadtpark Mannheim GmbH) for supplying the Hypolimnas salmacis butterfly samples, and Paul Abaffy (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) for performing the SEM. Furthermore, we acknowledge fruitful discussions with all members of the Biomimetics group at KIT and Bio-inspired photonics group at University of Cambridge. R.H.S. acknowledges the funding by the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists for a research stay at Cambridge. This work was partly carried out with the support of the Karlsruhe School of Optics and Photonics (KSOP, and the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF,, a Helmholtz Research Infrastructure at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Author Contributions: R.H.S. and H.H. conceived the idea. C.B. and I.W. worked on the cross section preparation and imaging. R.H.S., C.B. and I.W. conducted the microscopy of the butterfly scales. R.H.S. and S.V. performed and analysed the optical spectroscopy of the butterfly scales. R.H.S. and H.H. conducted and discussed the optical simulation. All authors commented on the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
PubMed Central ID:PMC5090330
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161202-125604308
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Official Citation:Siddique, R. H. et al. Colour formation on the wings of the butterfly Hypolimnas salmacis by scale stacking. Sci. Rep. 6, 36204; doi: 10.1038/srep36204 (2016).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72528
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2016 22:35
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:03

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