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Comparative Study of Behavioral-Sensitivity Thresholds to Near-UV and Blue-Green Light in Deep-Sea Crustaceans
Marine Biology
  • Tamara M. Frank, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
  • Edith A. Widder, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution
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The behavioral sensitivities of five species of deep-sea crustaceans (order Decapoda:Acanthephyra curtirostris, A. smithi, Notostomus gibbosus, Janicella spinacauda and Oplophorus gracilirostris) to near-UV and blue-green light were studied during a research cruise off the coast of Hawaii in 1993. Two of the five species have electrophysiologically-measured spectral sensitivity peaks at 400 and 500 nm, while the remaining three species have a single sensitivity peak at 490 to 500 nm. In the current study, behavioral mean threshold sensitivities (defined as the lowest irradiance change to which the shrimp would give a behavioral response) were determined for tethered specimens of each species at two wavelengths, 400 and 500 nm. The mean behavioral threshold sensitivities of the two species with putative dual visual-pigment systems were approximately the same to near-UV and blue-green light, while the other three species were significantly less sensitive to near-UV vs blue-green light. Results from these experiments indicate that (1) behavioral information obtained from tethered shrimp accurately reflects their spectral sensitivity, and (2) the sensitivity of the putative dichromats to near-UV light is sufficiently low to detect calculated levels of near-UV light remaining in the down-welling field at their daytime depth of 600 m. Possible functions of this high sensitivity to short wavelength light are discussed.

©Springer-Verlag 1994

Additional Comments
NSF grant #s: OCE-9313872, OCE9115551
Citation Information
Tamara M. Frank and Edith A. Widder. "Comparative Study of Behavioral-Sensitivity Thresholds to Near-UV and Blue-Green Light in Deep-Sea Crustaceans" Marine Biology Vol. 121 Iss. 2 (1994) p. 229 - 235 ISSN: 0025-3162
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