, Volume 177, Issue 5, pp 559-567

Visual pigments and spectral sensitivity of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis

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The visual pigments and oil droplets in the retina of the diurnal gecko Gonatodes albogularis were examined microspectrophotometrically, and the spectral sensitivity under various adapting conditions was recorded using electrophysiological responses. Three classes of visual pigments were identified, with λmax at about 542, 475, and 362 nm. Spectral sensitivity functions revealed a broad range of sensitivity, with a peak at approximately 530–540 nm. The cornea and oil droplets were found to be transparent across a range from 350–700 nm, but the lens absorbed short wavelength light below 450 nm. Despite the filtering effect of the lens, a secondary peak in spectral sensitivity to ultraviolet wavelengths was found. These results suggest that G. albogularis does possess the visual mechanisms for discrimination of the color pattern of conspecifics based on either hue or brightness. These findings are discussed in terms of the variation in coloration and social behavior of Gonatodes.