The optical physics of structural colour has been explored for centuries. The great natural philosophers Hooke and Newton noted the feathers of the peacock and iridescence of the fly and described this and developed theories. These were published in Hooke’s book Micrographia (1665) and Newton’s work Opticks (1704).
“Robert Hooke was one of the first to describe the properties of structural colour in his book Micrographia which discusses the iridescent appearance of the fly.”
We know know that nature has created many structures and many forms such as Bragg Reflectors, Photonic Crystals
Despite the ‘high visibility’ of structural colour the genetics are largely unknown
This is quite distinct from dyes and pigments, although in nature dyes and structural colour are frequently found in the same insect, bird or flower.