Home > Nature, Photography, Science > The Gorgeous Tamamushi!

The Gorgeous Tamamushi!

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

 

“The Japanese jewel beetle has been a prized ornament since ancient times, and now researchers have revealed the secret to its scintillating good looks.

Brilliant metallic purples and greens run the length of each beetle’s body. Each color band corresponds to varying numbers of stacked chitin layers in its wing covers.

These nano-scale layers scramble light and reflect an iridescent sheen, reported a team from the Netherlands and Japan in the Mar. 12 issue of The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

“This surprises me. I’ve always assumed they had the same number of layers throughout the body,” said Dave Kavanaugh, curator of the insect collection at the California Academy of Sciences, who was not involved with the study. “It makes the color change much less accidental.”.”

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