Measuring beetle colour

I’ve always thought that colour was going to be a useful functional trait for beetles.  I’ve seen (or at least I think I’ve seen – I am colour blind!)  a shift in colour of elytra/legs in my specimens from young forest to oldgrowth, but how to quantify this I had no idea until recently. Some other authors have used colour categories – but I think it could be a bit more subtle than that. Also, being  heavily influenced by Violle’s definition of functional traits (, I always prefer continuous quantitative traits.

So I went down the spectrometer path and was quickly overwhelmed by the options. After much research I’ve decides to go with the Ocean Optics USB 4000 Possibly overkill – but it’s well recommended and I got a reasonable price in the end. I’m looking forward to testing it out in a couple of weeks!


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