Abstract

This paper examines evidence for the hypothesized connection between solar thermal properties of butterfly and moth (Lepidoptera) wings, iridescence/structural color, and thermoregulation. Specimens of 64 species of Lepidoptera were measured spectrophotometrically, their solar absorptances calculated, and their habitat temperatures determined. No correlation was found between habitat temperature and the solar absorptance of the wings. It was found, however, that the iridescent specimens exhibited, on average, substantially higher solar absorptance than noniridescent ones.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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