The role of carotenoids in the “golden glance” of danaid pupae (Insecta: Lepidoptera)



Silver replaces the golden areas of danaid pupae if the larvae are reared on a carotenoid-free diet. These pigments are therefore responsible for the yellow colouring of the “golden glance”. Lutein is the dominant carotenoid present in pupal exuviae. In response to light cues, these pigments can be re-routed into deeper tissues, thus pupae of Euploea core become silver instead of gold if reared against a dull white background.