Organisms have evolved the ability to manipulate light for vision, as a means to capture its energy, to protect themselves from damage, especially against ultraviolet (UV) and other high flux radiation, and for display purposes. The makeup of the structural elements used for this manipulation often discloses novel pathways for man-made photonic devices. Iridocytes in the mantle of giant clams in the Tridacninae subfamily manipulate light in many ways, e.g., as reflectors, scattering centers, and diffusers. There is, however, a void in understanding the absorption and photoluminescence (PL) emission dynamics of these cells. In turn, a profound understanding of iridocytes’ photophysics can offer the prospect for a new generation of advanced optoelectronic materials and devices. Here, the structural and optical properties of the iridocytes embedded in the mantle tissue of the Tridacna maxima are investigated and their use as a high-speed color convertor for UV photodetection, well-suited to application in UV optical wireless communication, is demonstrated.