The scales covering the elytra of the male Hoplia coerulea beetle contain fluorophores embedded within a porous photonic structure. The photonic structure controls both insect colour (reflected light) and fluorescence emission. Herein, the effects of water-induced changes on the fluorescence emission from the beetle were investigated. The fluorescence emission peak wavelength was observed to blue-shift on water immersion of the elytra whereas its reflectance peak wavelength was observed to red-shift. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements, together with optical simulations, confirmed that the radiative emission is controlled by a naturally engineered photonic bandgap while the elytra are in the dry state, whereas non-radiative relaxation pathways dominate the emission response of wet elytra.