Dogbane Leaf beetle – 7/12/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/10

Observation Time: 8:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Dogbane Leaf beetle

Scientific Name: Chrysochus auratus

Comments: The dogbane leaf beetle has a special type of color that shines and changes as the insect changes position or we change position looking at it. This changing color is called iridescence. The beetles’ iridescence is produced by special body structures and light. The surfaces of the body parts of this beetle are made up of stacks of tiny, slanting plates, under which is a pigment (substance that produces color). Some light rays reflect from the surface of the plates, and other light rays reflect from the pigment underneath. At different angles, the light reflects at different speeds, causing interference and resulting in our seeing different colors.

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