Diffraction Grating in Beetles Project

The basic question our team is asking is why some beetles have diffraction grating on their elytra (and some other parts of their bodies). Possible reasons might be signaling through iridescence, hydrophobicity, or drag reduction.

Serica sericea exhibiting iridescence due to diffraction grating. Picture by Tommy McElrath.


  • Dr. Tommy McElrath – Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, IL
  • Dr. Alison Dunn – MechSE – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Dr. Ainsley Seago – Department of Primary Industries – NSW Government – Australia
  • Dr. Viktor Gruev – Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign