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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-877
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Synchrotron Radiation
Issue numberPart 3
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis
  • damselfly
  • hierarchical cluster analysis
  • melanin
  • synchrotron Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy
  • synchrotron IR microspectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Study of melanin localization in the mature male Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis damselfly wings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this