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Photosensitivity of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa

Abstract

The light intensity and spectral sensitivities of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa Dana were determined by measuring phototactic responses. Adult females displayed only positive phototaxis. The dark-adapted copepod, which possesses a single naupliar eye, perceived light at intensities as low as 2.8x1011 photons m-2 s-1. The action spectrum for positive phototaxis had no clear maxima but rather showed a broad range of greatest sensitivity from 453 to 620 nm. This sensitivity encompassed those wavelengths that are maximally available at the depth where the copepod is found during the day. This spectral overlap, coupled with the finding that the copepod requires light cues for nocturnal vertical miration, suggests that broad spectral sensitivity is an adaptive mechanism to maximize light intensity sensitivity during migration.

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Communicated by S. K. Pierce, College Park

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Stearns, D.E., Forward, R.B. Photosensitivity of the calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa . Mar. Biol. 82, 85–89 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00392766

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Keywords

  • Migration
  • Light Intensity
  • Adult Female
  • Great Sensitivity
  • Spectral Sensitivity