Action spectra and chromatic mechanisms of cells in the median ocelli of dragonflies. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Spectral sensitivities were recorded intracellulary in median ocelli of Anax junius, Aeschnatuberculifera, and Libellulapulcella. All cells had peak sensitivities at 360 and 500 nm while UV-blue+green cells found only in Anax had a third peak sensitivity at 440 nm. Ratios of UV-to-green sensitivities varied from cell to cell in each ocellus, but no UV-only or green-only cells were recorded. Half of the cells tested had a reverse Purkinje shift: They were more sensitive in the green at low illuminations but more sensitive in the UV at high illuminations; their intensity-response curves at 370 and 520 nm crossed but became parallel for large responses. Wave-lengths 420 nm and shorter elicited a family of low intensity-response curves with one slope; wavelengths 440 nm and longer elicities a family of curves with another slope. Orange-adapting lights selectively adapted sensitivity in the green, but UV-adapting lights had little selective effect. Amounts of log-selective adaptation were proportional to log orange-adapting intensity. It is concluded that two spectral mechanisms can be recorded from each cell, possibly by coupling of UV and green cells or possibly because each cell contains two visual pigments. Selective chromatic adaptations may provide the ocellus with a kind of "authomatic color control," while the reverse Purkinje shift could extend the ocellus' sensitivity to prevailing skylight.

publication date

  • April 1975