When the larva matures into its adult beetle form it will climb the host plant and begin to eat the leaves, usually there are not enough dogbane beetles on an individual plant to kill it. So how do they get their brilliant iridescent color? The body of the dogbane beetle is covered with tiny slanted plates. Since light is a wave, with different colors at different wave lengths, some light is reflected off of these plates, bouncing back to our eyes as a particular color. Other light, at a different wave length, passes through the plates and reflects back off of the pigments beneath which is interpreted by our eyes as a different color.
CAMERA CRITTERS - #268
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