Abstract

Some beetles of the family Scarabaeidae produce brilliant metallic-looking colors by their pure dielectric exoskeletons and reflect light with a high degree of circular polarization. In the present work, we discuss three models for simultaneously describing scattering, spectral, and polarization characteristics of scarab beetles. Each model consists of three slabs: an outer thin epicuticle, an exocuticle having a helicoidal structure, and a thick uniform slightly absorbing endocuticle. Scattering features are defined by rough interfaces of the epicuticle and/or nonuniformities of the exocuticle. As an example, a slightly modified model of an earlier study of Chrysina aurata is considered. The modification is aimed at including surface and volume nonuniformities that affect not only spectral and polarization properties but also scattering. Another example of using the proposed models is based on the analysis of image formations of a specimen of the species Mimela chinensis, which was studied in a polarizing microscope at different magnifications. The results show that the proposed models can be applied for explanation of light interaction with the exoskeletons of scarab beetles.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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