Iridescence in insects

Iridescence is when surfaces – such as the wings of butterflies – appear to change brightness and colour as the angle of view, or the angle of illumination, changes. The iridescent wings of Morpho butterflies are some of the best examples. The spectral reflectance changes with the angle of incidence – i.e. the viewing angle…

Iridescent feathers of pigeons

Rock doves, or common pigeons (Columba livia), like those shown here have iridescent green and purple feathers around their necks. Both males and females show these iridescent colours, although females tend to have less iridescence than males. Iridescence means that the colours change according to the angle of view (or angle of illumination). So as the…

Iridescent emperor butterflies

Last year I came across these beautiful Indian purple emperors (Mimathyma ambica) at the, now famous site, for viewing mud puddling butterflies in northern Thailand. There is something about the sandy soil at this site in Chiang Dao, which attracts many butterflies from the surrounding forest. It is almost entirely males of each species which…

An iridescent dung beetle from Spain

I have written about this beetle before (1), but it is so beautiful I thought that it would be worth posting a few more photographs which I took this summer. It is a large (about an inch in old money) dor beetle, found in north-west regions of the Iberian Peninsula. It is relatively common on…