Spectral absorption of visual pigments in stomatopod larval photoreceptors

Kate D Feller, Thomas Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
366 Downloads (Pure)


Larval stomatopod eyes appear to be much simpler versions of adult compound eyes, lacking most of the visual pigment diversity and photoreceptor specializations. Our understanding of the visual pigment diversity of larval stomatopods, however, is based on four species, which severely limits our understanding of stomatopod eye ontogeny. To investigate several poorly understood aspects of stomatopod larval eye function, we tested two hypoth- eses surrounding the spectral absorption of larval visual pigments. First, we examined a broad range of species to determine if stomatopod larvae generally express a single, spectral class of photoreceptor. Using microspectrophotometry (MSP) on larvae captured in the field, we found data which further support this long-standing hypothesis. MSP was also used to test whether larval species from the same geographical region express visual pigments with similar absorption spectra. Interestingly, despite occupation of the same geographical location, we did not find evidence to support our second hypothesis. Rather, there was signifi- cant variation in visual pigment absorption spectra among sympatric species. These data are important to further our understanding of larval photoreceptor spectral diversity, which is beneficial to ongoing investigations into the
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Stomatopod
  • Visual pigment
  • Larva
  • Microspectrophotometry
  • Visual ecology


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