The Photopigments in an Insect Retina

  • G. Höglund
  • K. Hamdorf
  • H. Langer
  • R. Paulsen
  • J. Schwemer


Colour vision is not an exclusive property of vertebrates. Also insects can discriminate wavelengths. The best known example is the honeybee, as shown by training experiments (1) and electrophysiological recordings (2,3). The peripheral wavelength discrimination is accomplished by at least three receptor types. The spectral sensitivity of the receptors fairly well agrees with resonance spectra for rhodopsins (3), and bee heads contain retinol and retinal (4). These results suggest that the visual pigments in insects are rhodopsins, i. e. they consist of retinal bound to a protein.


Spectral Sensitivity Difference Spectrum Visual Pigment Spectral Absorbance Test Flash 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Höglund
    • 2
  • K. Hamdorf
    • 1
  • H. Langer
    • 1
  • R. Paulsen
    • 1
  • J. Schwemer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für TierphysiologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochum-QuerenburgW. Germany
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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