“Blue halo” light scattering enhances signalling to bees

Visual and other cues attract pollinators. Bees vision is skewed towards blue colors, but they also visit non-blue flowers. Moyroud et al. looked at how petal surface textures affect bee responses. The authors observed that similar parallel cuticular striations in diverse angiosperm lineages show convergent optical properties, and cause preferential scattering of short-wavelength blue and UV light. They mimicked this effect in artificial flowers and showed that the blue light attracts bees. Interestingly, perfectly ordered striations are less effective at blue-light scattering, and the conserved degree of disorder present in floral nanostructures increases their scattering intensity. Nature 10.1038/nature24285

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