A presumed new photoreceptor in copepod crustaceans.

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Abstract

A new photoreceptor in the Copepoda is described. The organ, previously called Gicklhorn's organ (Elofsson, 1966a), is paired and is usually situated beneath the cuticle of the front. Each member of the pair consists of two cells. From the anterolateral position, two nerves lead to the lateral part of the brain. No connexion with the nauplius eye is found. Each cell of the organ has microvilli, two nuclei, dictyosomes, and large cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum. Except for the binucleated condition, the cells closely resemble the retinula cells of the copepod nauplius eye.

It is concluded that, because of its independent position, the new photoreceptor is not a detached part of the nauplius eye. As there are no accessory structures present and no missing links so far known, it is doubtful whether it can be regarded as a vestigial compound eye. The most plausible hypothesis is that the new presumed photoreceptor is an independent structure without connexions either with crustacean compound or nauplius eyes.

If the function of the nauplius eye is considered by itself the improvement contributed by the new organ is probably modest because of its low level of organization. Some experimental evidence on light reception in Copepods points to a possible function in response to directed light.

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  • Zoology

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-326
JournalZeitschrift für Zellforschung und mikroskopische Anatomie
Volume109
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1970
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes