The Morphology and Optics of Spider Eyes

  • M. F. Land

Abstract

The modern arachnids are the only group of arthropods in which the main organs of sight are camera-type eyes, not unlike our own, rather than compound eyes. The copepod crustaceans also lack compound eyes, but their nauplius eyes are rarely more than a trio of simple eye-cups, with a handful of receptors each. By contrast, spider eyes at their best have retinae with 103 to 104 receptors, and in the salticid Portia the inter-receptor angles may be as small as 2.4 min of arc (Williams and McIntyre 1980), which is only six times greater than in man (cone spacing 0.42 min), and is six times smaller than in the most acute insect eye (the dragonfly Aeschna, minimum inter-ommatidial angle 14.4 min; Sherk 1978). Thus, in some spiders, but by no means all, vision is excellent, and rivalled amongst invertebrates only by the cephalopod molluscs.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Land
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SussexBrightonGreat Britain

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