Document Detail

Hiding opaque eyes in transparent organisms: a potential role for larval eyeshine in stomatopod crustaceans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25232197     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Opaque screening pigments are a fundamental requisite for preserving resolution in image-forming eyes. Possession of any type of image-forming eye in a transparent, pelagic animal will thus undermine the ability of that animal to be invisible in the water column. Transparent, pelagic animals must therefore deal with the trade-off between the ability to see and the ability of other animals to see them. Stomatopod larvae, like many transparent crustaceans, possess specialized optics in their compound eyes that minimize the volume of the opaque retina. Though the volumes of these retinas are reduced, their opacity remains conspicuous to an observer. The light reflected from structures overlying the retinas of stomatopod crustacean larval eyes, referred to here as eyeshine, is hypothesized to further reduce the visibility of opaque retinas. Blue or green wavelengths of light are most strongly reflected in stomatopod larval eyeshine, suggesting a putative spectral matching to the light environment against which the larval eyes are viewed. We tested the efficacy of stomatopod crustacean larval eyeshine as an ocular camouflaging mechanism by photographing larvae in their natural light environment and analysing the contrast of eyes with the background light. To test for spectral matching between stomatopod larval eyeshine and the background light environment, we characterized the spectrum of eyeshine and calculated its performance using radiometric measurements collected at the time of each photographic series. These results are the first to demonstrate an operative mirror camouflage matched in both spectrum and radiance to the pelagic background light environment.
K D Feller; T W Cronin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  217     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2014 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-09-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3263-73     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
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