Letter | Published:

Visual adaptation in butterflies

Abstract

THE brilliant glow appearing in the compound eye of butterflies has intrigued investigators of insect eyes since the observations of Exner1. Miller and Bernard have presented a convincing optical interpretation of the butterfly glow, that the tracheole basal to the rhabdom is modified in such a way as to act as a quarter wavelength interference reflection filter (see refs 2–4). On light adaptation, the eye glow vanishes rapidly1. Miller and Bernard have conjectured that this is caused by a distal migration of pigment granules in the pigment cells surrounding the crystalline cone2.

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References

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