Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 145, Issue 4, pp 549–554 | Cite as

Color receptors in marine crustaceans: A second spectral class of retinular cell in the compound eyes ofCallinectes andCarcinus

  • Francis G. Martin
  • Michael I. Mote


  1. 1.

    Spectral and polarizational sensitivities of dark adapted retinular cells in the ventral regions of the compound eye of the crabsCallinectes andCarcinus have been measured with intracellular recording of responses to flashes of monochromatic light. The majority was maximally sensitive to green light (508 nm,n=108) and showed a mean sensitivity in the blue violet that was higher than expected from a rhodopsin like pigment (Fig. 1).

  2. 2.

    A small number of cells (n = 6) showed a maximum sensitivity to blue light (440 nm) and had a sensitivity function which was considerably wider than a nomogram pigment (Fig. 2). These cells were recorded in the ventral regions of the eye and ERG measurements under selective adaptation revealed statistically significant changes in the relative sensitivities to blue and red stimuli (Figs. 4 and 5).

  3. 3.

    PS values ranged from 1 to 13 when measured in green cells with 508 nm stimuli (n = 69) with the modal value being 3. When PS was tested at 410 nm, 508 nm, and 605 nm in the same cell there was a statistically significant (0.07 log,P < 0.01) elevation of PS in the orange region of the spectrum.

  4. 4.

    The results are discussed in relation to the possibility of color vision in marine crustaceans.



Blue Light Color Vision Maximum Sensitivity Relative Sensitivity Sensitivity Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



polarizational sensitivity


spectral sensitivity


sea water


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis G. Martin
    • 1
  • Michael I. Mote
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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