Pigmentary and structural colorations in Phelsuma geckos. (a) Semi-thin cross-sections of skins of different colors. Two types of melanophores are indicated (arrows and arrowheads, respectively), and iridophores are outlined with dashed lines. Ep, epidermis; X, xanthophores; Er, erythrophores. Bar = 10 μm. (b) Pteridin pigments were removed with NH4OH (here in Phelsuma grandis, individual number 3), revealing the remaining structural color produced by the iridophores. Bar = 0.2 mm. (c) Red pigments in dorsal markings of Phelsuma quadriocellata and Phelsuma lineata can change color when the pH of the Ringer solution is lowered or when an oxidant (NaNO2) is added, respectively. Bar = 0.2 mm. (d) Representative electron micrographs of iridophores in skin of different colors. Bar = 1 μm. Note the highly disordered guanine crystals in the white and red skin. (e) Mechanical pressure and dehydration (here applied to the green skin of P. grandis, individual number 2 after removal of the yellow pigment) lead to a blue shift of structural green (for supplementary movies, see Additional file 3; see Additional file 4).