Optical and physiological properties of the larval visual system of the tiger beetle, Cicindela chinensis
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The larva of the tiger beetle (Cicindela chinensis) possesses six stemmata on either side of the head. Optical and physiological properties of two pairs of large stemmata and a pair of anterior medium sized stemmata, and responses of second-order visual interneurons (medulla neurons) have been examined.
Objects at infinite distance were estimated to focus 50 μm deep in the retina in the large stemmata. Receptive fields of four large stemmata, the acceptance angle of each being 90°, largely overlapped one another.
The stemmata possessed a single type of retinular cell with a maximal spectral sensitivity at 525 nm, and a flicker fusion frequency of 25–50 Hz.
Medulla neurons expanded fan-shaped dendrites in the medulla neuropil, and their axons extended into the protocerebrum. They responded to illumination with a variety of discharge patterns. They also responded with spike discharges to moving objects and to apparent movements provided by sequential illumination or extinction of LEDs. They did not show directional selectivity. They possessed well-defined receptive fields ranging from 30° to 105°.
Key wordsTiger beetle larva Visual system Stemma Optics Physiology
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