Australia 31: a hovering dragonfly

This particular dragonfly hovered co-operatively for my camera, so much so that I was able to take 805 shots. What colours do you see in its eyes?

The irridescent colours in the eyes are not due to pigment but due to what is called structural colouration. This is the production of colour by microscopically structured surfaces fine enough to interfere with visible light, sometimes in combination with pigments. Irridescence is the result of interference between reflections from two or more surfaces of thin films, combined with refraction as light enters and leaves such films. At certain angles, the light reflected from both surfaces interferes constructively, and destructively at other angles. Different colours therefore appear at different angles.


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