A Herculean Color Change

Dynastes hercules
Photo: Didier Descouens

The Hercules beetle, Dynastes hercules, is able to change its color from a greenish yellow to black and back. How does this occur?

This color changes was investigated by H.E. Hinton and G.M. Jarman*. They discovered that the color was due to the way elytra reflected light. The elytra have a transparent hard top layer and a spongy layer underneath. When the spongy layer is filled with air, the elytra reflect the yellow color. If the spongy layer is…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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