Detailed optical study of the transparent wing membranes of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea
Hooper, Ian R.
Wootton, R. J.
University of Exeter
Optical Society of America
The optical properties of transparent single membranes on the wings of the dragonfly Aeshna cyanea have been investigated. These membranes comprise one central thick cuticular layer covered dorsally and ventrally with typical odonatan wax pruinosity. Optical characterisation of individual membranes reveals they can support optical guided modes comprising differential polarisation reflection. We suggest this may offer an intraspecific signalling channel. The guided modes’ characteristics depend on membrane thickness and the nature of the wax pruinosity. We accurately modelled multiple optical data sets simultaneously, thereby inaugurally quantifying the roughness of the pruinosity and the complex refractive indices of the wax and the odonatan cuticle.
Copyright © 2006 Optical Society of America. This paper was published in Optics Express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-14-11-4891 . Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.
14 (11), pp. 4891-4897