• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of transbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. Sep 29, 2000; 355(1401): 1257–1261.
PMCID: PMC1692844

Transmission of ocular media in labrid fishes.


Wrasses (Labridae) are the second largest family of fishes on the Great Barrier Reef (after the Gobiidae) and, in terms of morphology and lifestyle, one of the most diverse. They occupy all zones of the reef from the very shallow reef flats to deep slopes, feeding on a variety of fauna. Many wrasses also have elaborately patterned bodies and reflect a range of colours from ultraviolet (UV) to far red. As a first step to investigating the visual system of these fishes we measured the transmission properties of the ocular media of 36 species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, and Hawaii, California and the Florida Keys, USA. Transmission measurements were made of whole eyes with a window cut into the back, and also of isolated lenses and corneas. Based on the transmission properties of the corneas the species could be split into two distinct groups within which the exact wavelength of the cut-off was variable. One group had visibly yellow corneas, while the corneas of the other group appeared clear to human observers. Five species had ocular media that transmitted wavelengths below 400 nm, making a perception of UV wavelengths for those species possible. Possible functional roles for the different filter types are discussed.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (202K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Douglas RH, McGuigan CM. The spectral transmission of freshwater teleost ocular media--an interspecific comparison and a guide to potential ultraviolet sensitivity. Vision Res. 1989;29(7):871–879. [PubMed]
  • Douglas RH, Partridge JC, Marshall NJ. The eyes of deep-sea fish. I: Lens pigmentation, tapeta and visual pigments. Prog Retin Eye Res. 1998 Oct;17(4):597–636. [PubMed]
  • Thorpe A, Douglas RH, Truscott RJ. Spectral transmission and short-wave absorbing pigments in the fish lens--I. Phylogenetic distribution and identity. Vision Res. 1993 Feb;33(3):289–300. [PubMed]
  • Zigman S. Eye lens color: formation and function. Science. 1971 Feb 26;171(3973):807–809. [PubMed]

Articles from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...