Event Abstract

The basis of polychromatic ultraviolet vision in mantis shrimp

  • 1 University of Maryland, Baltimore County, United States

Stomatopod crustaceans, or mantis shrimp, possess some of the most notable visual systems known to biology. Their visual ecology has been characterized in great detail, showing that many species of this order are capable of advanced color and polarization discrimination. The photoreceptors of stomatopod compound eyes are maximally sensitive to at least sixteen separate wavelengths of light in the human visible range, from 400 to 700 nm. Stomatopod photoreceptors have also been shown to be maximally sensitive to at least five discrete wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light, between 310 and 380 nm, as well as orthogonal polarization angles of UV light. Little is known about the visual pigments and spectral tuning mechanisms at work in these UV-sensitive photoreceptors, or their implication to the visual ecology of mantis shrimp. Here I report on molecular investigations of short wavelength-sensitive opsin transcripts in the retina of Neogonodactylus oerstedii, and spectroscopic measurements from the optical components of the eye. These findings suggest that multiple UV-absorbing visual pigments and novel UV optical filters are responsible for the surprising diversity of spectral sensitivities observed in stomatopod UV photoreceptors. Furthermore, comparative analysis of these spectral tuning components alongside preliminary behavioral experiments may indicate a diversity of UV photoreceptor spectral arrays, and UV visual capabilities, across different species of stomatopods.

Keywords: Eye, Filters, Mantis Shrimp, Opsin, optics, Stomatopod, Ultraviolet, Vision

Conference: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology, College Park. Maryland USA, United States, 5 Aug - 10 Aug, 2012.

Presentation Type: Poster (but consider for participant symposium and student poster award)

Topic: Sensory: Vision

Citation: Bok MJ, Porter ML and Cronin TW (2012). The basis of polychromatic ultraviolet vision in mantis shrimp. Conference Abstract: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnbeh.2012.27.00373

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Received: 01 May 2012; Published Online: 07 Jul 2012.

* Correspondence: Mr. Michael J Bok, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, United States, mikebok@gmail.com