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Humidity-dependent colour change in the green forester moth, Adscita statices

Wilts, Bodo D. ; Mothander, Karolina LU and Kelber, Almut LU (2019) In Biology letters 15(9).
Abstract

The colours of insects serve important visual functions in aiding mate recognition, camouflage and warning. The display of insects is usually static, as cuticle coloration does not (or hardly) change during the lifespan of a mature imago form. Here, we describe a case of humidity-dependent, brilliant coloration in the green forester moth, Adscita statices. We show, by employing spectroscopic and ultrastructural methods, that the moth's colour results from the interference of incident light with an unusual hydrophilic melanized-chitin multilayer present in the wing scales. Humidity changes in the environment affect the multilayer properties, causing a significant shift of the green-peaking reflectance in the dry state to a rusty colour... (More)

The colours of insects serve important visual functions in aiding mate recognition, camouflage and warning. The display of insects is usually static, as cuticle coloration does not (or hardly) change during the lifespan of a mature imago form. Here, we describe a case of humidity-dependent, brilliant coloration in the green forester moth, Adscita statices. We show, by employing spectroscopic and ultrastructural methods, that the moth's colour results from the interference of incident light with an unusual hydrophilic melanized-chitin multilayer present in the wing scales. Humidity changes in the environment affect the multilayer properties, causing a significant shift of the green-peaking reflectance in the dry state to a rusty colour when damp, resulting in the strong colour change between day and dusk or dawn.

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organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
body colours, camouflage, colour change, Lepidoptera, photonic nanostructures
in
Biology letters
volume
15
issue
9
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85072296435
  • pmid:31530115
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2019.0516
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a18f7151-c05c-4a2f-ac38-d36b65e5d343
date added to LUP
2019-09-30 13:03:29
date last changed
2021-01-06 03:03:34
@article{a18f7151-c05c-4a2f-ac38-d36b65e5d343,
  abstract     = {<p>The colours of insects serve important visual functions in aiding mate recognition, camouflage and warning. The display of insects is usually static, as cuticle coloration does not (or hardly) change during the lifespan of a mature imago form. Here, we describe a case of humidity-dependent, brilliant coloration in the green forester moth, Adscita statices. We show, by employing spectroscopic and ultrastructural methods, that the moth's colour results from the interference of incident light with an unusual hydrophilic melanized-chitin multilayer present in the wing scales. Humidity changes in the environment affect the multilayer properties, causing a significant shift of the green-peaking reflectance in the dry state to a rusty colour when damp, resulting in the strong colour change between day and dusk or dawn.</p>},
  author       = {Wilts, Bodo D. and Mothander, Karolina and Kelber, Almut},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology letters},
  title        = {Humidity-dependent colour change in the green forester moth, Adscita statices},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0516},
  doi          = {10.1098/rsbl.2019.0516},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2019},
}