Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 103–115 | Cite as

Seasonal variation in cone sensitivity and short-wave absorbing visual pigments in the rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus

  • A. V. Whitmore
  • J. K. Bowmaker


Microspectrophotometric and electroretinographic investigation of photoreceptor spectral sensitivity in the rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus has revealed four spectral classes of cone with peak sensitivity in the ultra-violet, violet, green and red regions of the spectrum. These peak sensitivities were found to vary seasonally, and in response to artificial illumination, as a result of a change in the ratio of A1 to A2-based visual pigment in the cells. Short daylengths favoured the A2 pigment whereas long daylengths favoured the A1 analogue. Both the ultra-violet and violet-sensitive pigments have not previously been reported for the rudd. Evidence is presented supporting the hypothesis that the ultra-violet class of cells is not present in older fish.

Key words

Seasonal variation Visual pigments Cones Ultraviolet sensitivity Scardinius erythrophthalmus 



response versus intensity (curve)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Whitmore
    • 1
  • J. K. Bowmaker
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary College, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Visual SciencesInstitute of OphthalmologyLondonUK

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