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Compound eyes of some deep-sea and fiord crustaceans

  • Rolf Elofsson
  • Eric Hallberg
Publiceringsår: 1977
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 169-177
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Acta Zoologica
Volym: 58
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift

Abstract english

The compound eyes of the deep-sea mysid Boreomysis scyphops and the two mysid species Amblyops abbreviata and Pseudomma affine, which are indigenous to deep fiords in Norway, have been investigated. The eye stalks are greatly transformed, but contain hypertrophied retinas. The ommatidia of all three species lack a dioptric apparatus, possessing only retinular cells, which are arranged in a cylinder-like fashion. Folds from the retinular cells project into the “cylinder” and are covered with microvilli. The arrangement is explained functionally by an increase in the photopigment-bearing surface as an adaptation to low-light intensities. The orderly arrangement of microvilli in most arthropod compound eyes has been lost, and the arrangement is thus multidirectional in these mysids. With the photopigment dipoles arranged along the microvillar axis, the disorderly arrangement of microvilli signifies a more efficient capture of non-polarized light. It is concluded that the mysid compound eyes show adaptations to low-light intensities probably acquired during the species' evolutionary descent into deep-sea habitats. Amblyops abbreviata and Pseudomma affine, belonging to genera with entirely transformed eyes and with an ultrastructure less “normal” than that of Boreomysis scyphops are believed to be earlier descendants into the deep-sea habitats than the latter species, which belongs to a genus in which most of the species have well-developed eyes.


  • Zoology


Eric Hallberg
E-post: eric [dot] hallberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Funktionell zoologi

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