, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 279–306 | Cite as

Classification of amphipod compound eyes — The fine structure of the ommatidial units (Crustacea, Amphipoda)

  • Eric Hallberg
  • Heimo L. Nilsson
  • Rolf Elofsson


The ultrastructure of the compound eyes of 13 amphipod species has been investigated. An amphipod type of compound eye can be characterized by the constellation and consistency of a number of morphological features, most of which are also found in other compound eyes. The amphipod eye falls into four sub-categories (types). The ampeliscid type has a tripartite aberrant lens eye; the lysianassid type has a reduced or no dioptric apparatus and a hypertrophied rhabdom; the hyperid type possesses a large number of ommatidial units with long crystalline cones and dark instead of reflecting accessory pigment; and finally, the gammarid type can be interpreted as a generalized amphipod type. The lysianassid type is adapted to low light intensities and demonstrates convergent development with the compound eyes of other deep-sea crustaceans. The ampeliscid type is more similar to the gammarid type. The type characterization of the amphipod compound eye might well serve as a basis and incentive for functional studies also revealing adaptational mechanisms.


Light Intensity Morphological Feature Developmental Biology Fine Structure Functional Study 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Hallberg
    • 1
  • Heimo L. Nilsson
    • 1
  • Rolf Elofsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of LundLundSweden

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