Physics of the Structural Color on the Skin of Cephalopods



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The structural colors, produced by leucophore and iridophore cells, are important for cephalopod camouflage; however, their scattering properties have not been very well studied. These colors are mainly due to the scattering of the specific small scatterers inside of the cell. In this work we will summarize the theories and the numerical methods used to solve both the scattering problems for one scatterer and a collection of such scatterers. The reflection spectrum of iridophores is shown to depend on both particle orientation and incident angle of the light. The leucophores are shown to be a white Lambertian surface. Therefore, starting from the structure of the cells, we can predict their color appearance in the skin. This work provides a general framework for the study of the structural color of cephalpods, and can be applied to many species with different cell structures.