Way to Glow: Butterfly-wing structure matches high-tech lights' design

11:29am, November 16, 2005

The blue-green–streaked wings of the swallowtail butterfly harbor an intricate optical system with a design reminiscent of the latest in light-emitting diode technology, researchers now report.

Swallowtails of the group Princeps nireus are among the few types of butterfly with fluorescent wings. The colored scales on the wings' top surfaces contain a fluorescent pigment that absorbs violet and ultraviolet light and reemits it at a longer wavelength.

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