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pigment in blue bottle files

ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu
Wed Jun 8 12:48:00 EST 1994


In the orignial post on Bionet.general

>>> colinc at cix.compulink.co.uk ("Colin Cracknell") wrote:
>>>
>>> As a child I used to wonder why big fat flies were known as bluebottles, 
>>> when they were black. As time went on, I saw occasional blue ones, but 
>>> almost all seemed to be black. (stuff deleted)
>>> My current working hypothesis is that the colour is in some way 
>>> temperature-dependent.   (more stuff deleted)
>>> Has any serious work been done on this? What is the 
>>> metallic pigment in Calliphoridae anyway?

>> mike at biu.icnet.uk (Mike Mitchell) replied:
>>
>> The pigment may not be a pigment after all. Many butterflies have 
>> similar metallic sheens, but this is caused by the scales
>> on their wings. I understand that these scales polarise light. 
>> Of course this could be completely wrong!

    This sounds reasonable to me. I wonder if we can get the expert opinion of 
    an Entomologist to set us straight ?


**********************************
*  Charles T. Faulkner           *
*  Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville  *
*  (ctfaulkn at utkvx.utk.edu)      *
*********************************                                




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