A specialized dorsal rim area for polarized light detection in the compound eye of the scarab beetle Pachysoma striatum.

Marie Dacke, P Nordström, C H Scholtz, Eric Warrant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Many animals have been shown to use the pattern of polarized light in the sky as an optical compass. Specialised photoreceptors are used to analyse this pattern. We here present evidence for an eye design suitable for polarized skylight navigation in the flightless desert scarab Pachysoma striatum. Morphological and electrophysiological studies show that an extensive part of the dorsal eye is equivalent to the dorsal rim area used for polarized light navigation in other insects. A polarization-sensitivity of 12.8 (average) can be recorded from cells sensitive to the ultraviolet spectrum of light. Features commonly known to increase the visual fields of polarization-sensitive photoreceptors, or to decrease their spatial resolution, are not found in the eye of this beetle. We argue that in this insect an optically unspecialised area for polarized light detection allows it not be used exclusively for polarized light navigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Volume188
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Zoology

Keywords

  • Scanning
  • Electron
  • Microscopy
  • Contrast Sensitivity : physiology
  • Beetles : ultrastructure
  • Eye : anatomy & histology
  • Beetles : physiology
  • Animal
  • Eye : ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Male
  • Light
  • Photic Stimulation : methods

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A specialized dorsal rim area for polarized light detection in the compound eye of the scarab beetle Pachysoma striatum.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this