Main content area

Photonic structures improve radiative heat exchange of Rosalia alpina (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)

Pavlović, Danica, Vasiljević, Darko, Salatić, Branislav, Lazović, Vladimir, Dikić, Goran, Tomić, Ljubiša, Ćurčić, Srećko, Milovanović, Petar, Todorović, Dajana, Pantelić, Dejan V.
Journal of thermal biology 2018 v.76 pp. 126-138
Rosalia alpina, absorption, acoustics, body temperature, color, elytra, heat transfer, infrared radiation, insect cuticle, insects, mimicry (behavior), photons, summer, thermal energy
The insect cuticle serves a multitude of purposes, including: mechanical and thermal protection, water-repelling, acoustic signal absorption and coloration. The influence of cuticular structures on infrared radiation exchange and thermal balance is still largely unexplored. Here we report on the micro- and nanostructured setae covering the elytra of the longicorn beetle Rosalia alpina (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) that help the insect to survive in hot, summer environments. In the visible part of the spectrum, scale-like setae, covering the black patches of the elytra, efficiently absorb light due to the radiation trap effect. In the infrared part of the spectrum, setae of the whole elytra significantly contribute to the radiative heat exchange. From the biological point of view, insect elytra facilitate camouflage, enable rapid heating to the optimum body temperature and prevent overheating by emitting excess thermal energy.