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Arthropod Struct Dev. 2012 Mar;41(2):155-63. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2011.11.003. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Visual fields and eye morphology support color vision in a color-changing crab-spider.

Author information

1
Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte, UMR CNRS 6035 - Université François Rabelais, Tours, France. tere.insausti@univ-tours.fr

Abstract

Vision plays a major role in many spiders, being involved in prey hunting, orientation or substrate choice, among others. In Misumena vatia, which experiences morphological color changes, vision has been reported to be involved in substrate color matching. Electrophysiological evidence reveals that at least two types of photoreceptors are present in this species, but these data are not backed up by morphological evidence. This work analyzes the functional structure of the eyes of this spider and relates it to its color-changing abilities. A broad superposition of the visual field of the different eyes was observed, even between binocular regions of principal and secondary eyes. The frontal space is simultaneously analyzed by four eyes. This superposition supports the integration of the visual information provided by the different eye types. The mobile retina of the principal eyes of this spider is organized in three layers of three different types of rhabdoms. The third and deepest layer is composed by just one large rhabdom surrounded by dark screening pigments that limit the light entry. The three pairs of secondary eyes have all a single layer of rhabdoms. Our findings provide strong support for an involvement of the visual system in color matching in this spider.

PMID:
22309704
DOI:
10.1016/j.asd.2011.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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