The wings of some insect species are known to fluoresce under illumination by ultraviolet light. Their fluorescence properties are however, not comprehensively documented. In this article, the optical properties of one specific insect, the Trictenotoma childreni yellow longhorn beetle, were investigated using both linear and nonlinear optical (NLO) methods, including one- and two-photon fluorescence and second harmonic generation (SHG). These three distinct optical signals discovered in this beetle are attributed to the presence of fluorophores embedded within the scales covering their elytra. Experimental evidence collected in this study indicates that the fluorophores are non-centrosymmetric, a fundamental requirement for SHG. This study is the first reported optical behavior of this type in insects. We described how NLO techniques can complement other more convenient approaches to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of insect scales and integument properties.
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Muriel Lepere (Manager)Technological Platform Optics, Lasers and spectroscopy
Facility/equipment: Technological Platform