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, 78 (5 Pt 1), 051902

Nanomorphology of the Blue Iridescent Wings of a Giant Tropical Wasp Megascolia Procer Javanensis (Hymenoptera)

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Nanomorphology of the Blue Iridescent Wings of a Giant Tropical Wasp Megascolia Procer Javanensis (Hymenoptera)

Michaël Sarrazin et al. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys.

Abstract

The wings of the giant wasp Megascolia procer javanensis are opaque and iridescent. The origin of the blue-green iridescence is studied in detail, using reflection spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and physical modeling. It is shown that the structure responsible for the iridescence is a single homogeneous transparent chitin layer covering the whole surface of each wing. The opacity is essentially due to the presence of melanin in the stratified medium which forms the mechanical core of the wing.

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