Iridescent colouration of male Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) caused by multilayered barbules

Marco A. Giraldo, Juan L. Parra, Doekele G. Stavenga*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    12 Citaten (Scopus)
    324 Downloads (Pure)


    The male Anna's hummingbird features a brightly reddish-pink reflecting gorget, due to large stacks of melanosomes in the feather barbules, arranged in layers separated by keratin. Direct observations together with detailed scatterometry demonstrated that the barbules reflect incident light in an approximately specular manner. The structural colouration is iridescent, i.e. varies with a changing angle of light incidence. Spectrophotometrical measurements of the barbule reflectance and absorbance can be well interpreted with calculated spectra obtained with a transfer matrix method for optical multilayers, using anatomical data and measured refractive index spectra. The organization of the reflectors as a Venetian blind presumably functions to create a high spectral contrast of the male's plumage during courtship.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)965-975
    Aantal pagina's11
    TijdschriftJournal of comparative physiology a-Neuroethology sensory neural and behavioral physiology
    Nummer van het tijdschrift12
    StatusPublished - dec.-2018

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