, Volume 196, Issue 3, pp 213-220,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 04 Feb 2010

Temporal properties of the lens eyes of the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora

Abstract

Box jellyfish (Cubomedusae) are visually orientating animals which posses a total of 24 eyes of 4 morphological types; 2 pigment cup eyes (pit eye and slit eye) and 2 lens eyes [upper lens-eye (ule) and lower lens-eye (lle)]. In this study, we use electroretinograms (ERGs) to explore temporal properties of the two lens eyes. We find that the ERG of both lens eyes are complex and using sinusoidal flicker stimuli we find that both lens eyes have slow temporal resolution. The average flicker fusion frequency (FFF) was found to be approximately 10 Hz for the ule and 8 Hz for the lle. Differences in the FFF and response patterns between the two lens eyes suggest that the ule and lle filter information differently in the temporal domain and thus are tuned to perform different visual tasks. The data collected in this study support the idea that the visual system of box jellyfish is a collection of special purpose eyes.