Study of melanin localization in the mature male Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis damselfly wings

J. Synchrotron Rad. 25874-877 (2018)

Vi Khanh Truong, Jitraporn Vongsvivut, Nipuni Mahanamanam Geeganagamage, Mark J. Tobin, Pere Luque, Vladimir A. Baulin, Marco Werner, Shane Maclaughlin, Russell J. Crawford and Elena P. Ivanova

Damselflies Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis exhibiting black wings are found in the western Mediterranean, Algeria, France, Italy, Spain and Monaco. Wing pigmentation is caused by the presence of melanin, which is involved in physiological processes including defence reactions, wound healing and sclerotization of the insect. Despite the important physiological roles of melanin, the presence and colour variation among males and females of the C. haemorrhoidalis species and the localization of the pigment within the wing membrane remain poorly understood. In this study, infrared (IR) microspectroscopy, coupled with the highly collimated synchrotron IR beam, was employed in order to identify the distribution of the pigments in the wings at a high spatial resolution. It was found that the melanin is localized in the procuticle of the C. haemorrhoidalis damselfly wings, distributed homogeneously within this layer, and not associated with the lipids of the epicuticle.

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DOI: 10.1107/S1600577518004460

Vladimir Baulin
Elena Ivanova
Marco Werner

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