Rapid colour changes in multilayer reflecting stripes in the paradise whiptail, Pentapodus paradiseus

Mathger, L. M., Land, M. F., Siebeck, U. E. and Marshall, N. J. (2003) Rapid colour changes in multilayer reflecting stripes in the paradise whiptail, Pentapodus paradiseus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 206 20: 3607-3613. doi:10.1242/jeb.00599

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Author Mathger, L. M.
Land, M. F.
Siebeck, U. E.
Marshall, N. J.
Title Rapid colour changes in multilayer reflecting stripes in the paradise whiptail, Pentapodus paradiseus
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.00599
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 206
Issue 20
Start page 3607
End page 3613
Total pages 7
Editor R. G. Boutilier
Place of publication Cambridge UK
Publisher The Company of Biologists Ltd
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
270502 Neurobiology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract The Paradise whiptail (Pentapodus paradiseus) has distinct reflective stripes on its head and body. The reflective stripes contain a dense layer of physiologically active iridophores, which act as multilayer reflectors. The wavelengths reflected by these stripes can change from blue to red in 0.25 s. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the iridophore cells contain plates that are, on average, 51.4 nm thick. This thickness produces a stack, which acts as an ideal quarter-wavelength multilayer reflector (equal optical thickness of plates and spaces) in the blue, but not the red, region of the spectrum. When skin preparations were placed into hyposmotic physiological saline, the peak wavelength of the reflected light shifted towards the longer (red) end of the visible spectrum. Hyperosmotic saline reversed this effect and shifted the peak wavelength towards shorter (blue/UV) wavelengths. Norepinephrine (100 mumol l(-1)) shifted the peak wavelength towards the longer end of the spectrum, while adenosine (100 mumol l(-1)) reversed the effects of norepinephrine. The results from this study show that the wavelength changes are elicited by a change of similar to70 nm in the distance between adjacent plates in the iridophore cells.
Keyword Biology
Fish Reflector
Iridophore
Paradise Whiptail
Pentapodus Paradiseus
Multilayer Reflector
Rapid Colour Change
Colour Vision
Blue Damselfish
Motile Iridophore
Visual Pigments
Neon Tetra
Light
Mechanism
Animals
Fish
Reef
Q-Index Code C1

 
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