Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory

Creating a taxonomic e-science

Functional morphology of the ommatidia in the compound eye of the moth, Antheraea polyphemus (Insecta, Saturniidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1988
Authors:F. Anton-Erxleben, Langer H.
Journal:Cell and Tissue Research
Start Page:385
Date Published:05/1988

"The fine structure of the superposition eye of the Saturniid moth Antheraea polyphemus Cramer was investigated by electron microscopy. Each of the approximately 10000 ommatidia consists of the same structural components, but regarding the arrangement of the ommatidia and the rhabdom structure therein, two regions of the eye have to be distinguished. In a small dorsal rim area, the ommatidia are characterized by rectangularly shaped rhabdoms containing parallel microvilli arranged in groups that are oriented perpendicular to each other. In all other ommatidia, the proximal parts of the rhabdoms show radially arranged microvilli, whereas the distal parts may reveal different patterns, frequently with microvilli in two directions or sometimes even in one direction. Moreover, the microvilli of all distal cells are arranged in parallel to meridians of the eyes. By virtue of these structural features the eyes should enable this moth not only discrimination of the plane of polarized light but also skylight-orientation via the polarization pattern, depending on moon position. The receptor cells exhibit only small alterations during daylight within the natural diurnal cycle. However, under illumination with different monochromatic lights of physiological intensity, receptor cells can be unbalanced: Changes in ultrastructure of the rhabdomeres and the cytoplasm of such cells are evident. The effects are different in the daytime and at night. These findings are discussed in relation to the breakdown and regeneration of microvilli and the influence of the diurnal cycle. They are compared with results on photoreceptor membrane turnover in eyes of other arthropod species."

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith