White Scarab Beetle (Cyphochilus insulanus, Melolonthinae, Scarabaeidae)

Scarab beetles in the genus Cyphochilus are so white as to be considered one of the whitest whites that occurs in nature.

The whiteness of its body is caused by a thin layer of a highly reflective natural photonic solid in its scales and has nothing to do with pigment. The secret is in the size of the filaments of which the scales are made and the spacing between the filaments. This structure scatters light in an unusually efficient manner. Unlike colours, which can be created by using highly ordered structures to scatter light, white is created by a random, simultaneous scattering of light.

External image


by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese beetles on my Flickr site HERE…..