Meeting Abstract

P3.105  Friday, Jan. 6  The spectral sensitivity of stomatopod larvae FELLER, Kathryn D*; CRONIN, Thomas W.; Kathryn D. Feller UMBC

Adult stomatopods possess exceedingly complex visual systems with unique structural adaptations, unusual spectral filters, and a myriad of expressed visual pigments. Larval visual systems of these marine crustaceans, by comparison, are much simpler in both their structure and visual pigment expression. Previous research suggests that stomatopod larvae possess compound eyes typical of many pelagic zoea, with transparent apposition optics and a single, spectrally distinct visual pigment class. The physiological function of stomatopod larval eyes and their transition into the complex structures seen in adults, however, are largely unknown. It also remains unclear as to whether larval and adult stomatopods express separate suites of visual pigments, or if larval pigments are retained through adulthood. Preliminary research on the larval and adult stages of the gonodactyloid species, “”Gonodactylaceus mutatus “”, supports the presence of a larval visual pigment that retains its expression in the adult eye. In lysiosquilloid and squilloid species, however, data suggest unique suites of visual pigments for each life phase. Despite these conflicting results, we hypothesize that separate sets of visual pigments are expressed during the larval and adult stages. This hypothesis would account for both these preliminary results and the unique developmental process observed in stomatopod eyes. During the final, metamorphic molt of stomatopod larvae the larval retinas degenerate while the adult retinas form as separate structures medially adjacent to the prexisting larval material, resulting in two retinas within a single eye for a brief period. Here we report new data regarding visual pigment absorption in single receptors of stomatopod larvae measured by microspectrophotometry. These data deepen our understanding of larval visual ecology and suggest further approaches for investigating the peculiar development of stomatopod eyes.