Stomatopods (mantis shrimps) possess one of the most complex eyes in the world with photoreceptors detecting up to 12 different colors. It is not yet understood why stomatopods have almost four times the number of spectral photoreceptors compared with most other animals. It has, however, been suggested that these seemingly redundant photoreceptors could encode color through a new mechanism. Here we compare the spectral sensitivities across five species of stomatopods within the superfamily Gonodactyloidea using intracellular electrophysiological recordings. The results show that the spectral sensitivities across species of stomatopods are remarkably similar apart from some variation in the long-wavelength receptors. We relate these results to spectral sensitivity estimates previously obtained using microspectrophotometry and discuss the variation in the spectral sensitivity maxima (kmax) of the long-wavelength receptors in regard to the previous findings that stomatopods are able to tune their spectral sensitivities according to their respective light environment. We further discuss the similarities of the spectral sensitivities across species of stomatopods in regard to how color information might be processed by their visual systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Plant Science