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Zoolog Sci. 2002 Nov;19(11):1223-9.

Retinal topography of ganglion cells and putative UV-sensitive cones in two Antarctic fishes: Pagothenia borchgrevinki and Trematomus bernacchii (Nototheniidae).

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Department of Radiation Protection and Safety, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Ibaraki, Japan.


Accessory corner cones (ACC) have recently been suggested to be UV-sensitive photoreceptor cells. With a view toward explaining prey detection, we examined the topography of retinal ganglion cells and ACCs in two Antarctic nototheniids occupying different ecological niches: the cryopelagic Pagothenia borchgrevinki and the benthic Trematomus bernacchii. Isodensity maps of retinal ganglion cells showed that the main visual axis, coincident with the feeding vector, was in a forward direction in both species. Visual acuity was determined as 3.64 and 4.77 cycles/degree for the respective species. In P. borchgrevinki the highest density of ACCs was associated with the eye's main visual axis. This suggested that this species uses UV-vision during forward-swims and probably in encounters with prey. On the other hand, T. bernacchii possessed two horizontal band-shaped high-density areas of ACCs, which stretched from temporal to nasal and ventral to peripheral retinal regions. Therefore, this species appears to use UV-vision to watch prey across the entire circumference of the lateral area and in the water column above its head.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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