Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Regional morphological variations in the compound eyes of certain mesopelagic shrimps in relation to their habitat

  • E. Gaten (a1), P. M. J. Shelton (a1) and P. J. Herring (a2)

The anatomy of the eyes of several species of mesopelagic decapods (family Oplophoridae), obtained from the eastern north Atlantic, is described and related to the unique light environment of the deep seas. The oplophorid eyes are of the reflecting superposition type, but they show a number of regional morphological variations. The main rhabdom, formed by retinula cells Rl to R7, comes in a variety of shapes, from fusiform rhabdoms in the dorsal region of the eyes of Oplophorus spinosus to multi-lobed interdigitating rhabdoms in deepwater species. The distal rhabdom, contributed to each ommatidium by retinula cell R8, gradually increases in size towards the ventral part of the eye in Systellaspis debilis and O. spinosus. Histological examination of the tapetum shows that it is incomplete dorsally in some species from the upper mesopelagic zone (S. debilis, O. spinosus), and that the amount of reflecting pigment in the tapetal cells increases in the ventral part of the eye. The tapetum is complete in some deep-water species (Systellaspis cristata, Acanthephyra kingsleyi, A. pelagica). These adaptations of the rhabdoms and tapeta are thought to be concerned with increased sensitivity to the dim up-welling irradiance and to bioluminescence. A dorsal accessory compound eye consisting of a small group of apparently functional apposition-type ommatidia is described.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

D. Cummins & T.H. Goldsmith , 1981. Cellular identification of the violet receptor in the crayfish eye. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 142A, 199202.

D.G. Doughtie & K.R. Rao , 1984. Ultrastructure of the eyes of the grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio. General morphology, and light and dark adaptation at noon. Cell and Tissue Research, 238, 271288.

A.A. Fincham , 1984. Ontogeny and optics of the eyes of the common prawn Palaemon (Palaemon) sermtus (Pennant, 1777). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 81, 89113.

T.M. Frank & J.F. Case , 1988. Visual spectral sensitivities of bioluminescent deep-sea crustaceans. Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, 175, 261273.

E. Gaten , 1990. The ultrastructure of the compound eye of Munida rugosa (Crustacea: Anomura) and pigment migration during light and dark adaptation. Journal of Morphology, 205, 243253.

L.J. Goodman , 1981. Organization and physiology of the insect dorsal ocellar system. In Handbook of sensory physiology, vol. VII/6C (ed. H. Autrum ), pp. 201286. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

P.J. Herring , 1983. The spectral characteristics of luminous marine organisms. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B), 220, 183217.

P. Hiller-Adams & J.F. Case , 1988. Eye size of pelagic crustaceans as a function of habitat depth and possession of photophores. Vision Research, 28, 667680.

N.G. Jerlov , 1976. Marine Optics. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co.

M.F. Land , 1976. Superposition images are formed by reflection in the eyes of some oceanic decapod Crustacea. Nature, London, 263, 764765.

M.F. Land , 1980. Eye movements and the mechanism of vertical steering in euphausiid Crustacea. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 137A, 255265.

M.F. Land , 1981. Optics of the eyes of Phronima and other deep-sea amphipods. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 145A, 209226.

M.F. Land , 1984. Crustacea. In Photoreception and vision in invertebrates (ed. M.A. Ali ), pp. 401438. New York: Plenum Press.

M.F. Land , 1989. The eyes of hyperiid amphipods: relations of optical structure to depth. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 164A, 751762.

M.F. Land , F.A. Burton & V.B. Meyer-Rochow , 1979. The optical geometry of euphausiid eyes. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 130A, 4962.

M.I. Latz , T.M. Frank & J.F. Case , 1988. Spectral composition of bioluminescence of epipelagic organisms from the Sargasso Sea. Marine Biology, 98, 441446.

S. Matsui , M. Seidou , S. Horiuchi , I. Uchiyama & Y. Kito , 1988. Adaptation of a deep-sea cephalopod to the photic environment. Journal of General Physiology, 92, 5566.

V.B. Meyer-Rochow , 1975. Larval and adult eye of the western rock lobster (Panulirus longipes). Cell and Tissue Research, 162, 439457.

V.B. Meyer-Rochow & S. Walsh , 1977. The eyes of mesopelagic crustaceans: I. Gennadas sp. (Penaeidae). Cell and Tissue Research, 184, 87101.

D.-E. Nilsson & H.L. Nilsson , 1981. A crustacean compound eye adapted for low light intensities (Isopoda). Journal of Comparative Physiology, 143A, 503510.

H.S.J. Roe , 1984. The diel migrations and distributions within a mesopelagic community in the north east Atlantic. 2. Vertical migrations and feeding of mysids and decapod Crustacea. Progress in Oceanography, 13, 269318.

S.R. Shaw & S. Stowe , 1982. Photoreception. In The biology of Crustacea, vol. 3 (ed. H. L. Atwood and D. C. Sandeman ), pp. 291367. New York: Academic Press.

P.M.J. Shelton , E. Gaten & C.J. Chapman , 1985. Light and retinal damage in Nephrops norvegicus (L.). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B), 226, 217236.

T.R. Tokarski & G.S. Hafner , 1984. Regional morphological variations within the crayfish eye. Cell and Tissue Research, 235, 387392.

E.J. Warrant & P.D. Mclntyre , 1991. Strategies for retinal design in arthropod eyes of low F-number. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 168A, 499512.

T.H. Waterman , 1981. olarization sensitivity. In Handbook of sensory physiology, vol. VII/6B (ed. H. Autrum ), pp. 281470. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

J.H. Welsh & F.A. Chace Jr, 1937. Eyes of deep sea crustaceans. I. Acanthephyridae. Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, 72, 5774.

J.H. Welsh & F.A. Chace Jr, 1938. Eyes of deep sea crustaceans. II. Sergestidae. Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, 74, 364375.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 60 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 30th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.