Fisheries Science

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 350–355 | Cite as

The eyes of the common carp and Nile tilapia are sensitive to near-infrared

  • Taro MatsumotoEmail author
  • Gunzo Kawamura


Fish biologists have shown little interest in near-infrared (NIR) sensitivity because water absorbs light in the red and near-infrared and because downward irradiance in clear ocean water is mostly blue light. In recent years, however, Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus was shown to be NIR sensitive by behavioral techniques. This study confirmed NIR sensitivity in the common carp Cyprinus carpio and Nile tilapia by using a more sensitive technique than a behavioral one. Cardiac conditioning experiments showed that both fishes are sensitive to 865 nm NIR. The conditioned response to 865 nm NIR was observed in Nile tilapia when the eyes were not covered and the pineal window was covered, but not when the same fish had its eyes covered and the pineal window exposed to the NIR. The eyes are thus, the NIR-sensitive organs in Nile tilapia. To identify the NIR photoreceptor, the retina was examined by histology. The retina exposed to 865 nm NIR showed incomplete dark adaptation with rods exposed from retinal epithelial pigment. Though the reaction to NIR seemed to be mediated mainly by the red cone, the involvement of the rod could not be ruled out.

Key Words

cardiac conditioning common carp eyes near-infrared sensitivity Nile tilapia pineal organ 


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of FisheriesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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