University of Oulu

Post-embryonic growth and fine-structural organization of arthropod photoreceptors : a study involving selected species of insects and crustaceans

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Author: Keskinen, Essi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2004
Publish Date: 2004-11-24
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB210), Linnanmaa, on December 4th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Silvana Allodi
Docent Magnus Lindström


Arthropod photoreceptors are versatile sense organs. Any investigation of these organs has to consider that their structure and functional limitations at the moment of fixation depend on many factors: species, sex, developmental and nutritional state of the animal, time of day and ambient light. The microscopic image of an arthropod photoreceptor is always a sample frozen in time and space. Quite often publications on arthropod photoreceptors only provide the name of the species studied, but nothing beyond that. At least the developmental status of the study animals ought to be noted, possibly even the sex and body size. Forty publications on insect and 54 on crustacean photoreceptors were checked for the information that was given about the investigated animals: Out of these papers 40% provide only information on the name of the studied species and nothing else.

The aim of this thesis, thus, was to investigate, to what extent the developmental state and the sex of the animal as well as the ambient light conditions affect the structure of the eye of a given species. Five species of arthropods were chosen: (a) the semi-terrestrial isopod Ligia exotica and two aquatic Branchiuran fishlice, Argulus foliaceus and A. coregoni, to represent the Crustacea, and (b) the stick insect Carausius morosus and the spittle bug Philaenus spumarius, both terrestrial, to represent the Insecta. The addition of new ommatidia was studied in a paper on L. exotica, which also dealt with the site of newly added ommatidia. It was found that all of these species had two sessile, large compound eyes firmly positioned on their heads (but fishlouse compound eyes were bathed in haemocoelic liquid). In all species, the compound eye was found to be of the apposition type. The gross structural organization of the ommatidia stayed approximately the same during the whole post-embryonic development. Lateral ocelli of the A. coregoni nauplius eye changed from elongated to spherical between the metanauplius and the 8th stage pre-adult. The sex of the specimens was not found to affect the structure of the eye. In all species, it turned out that the larger the animal and hence the eye, the better its sensitivity. The addition of new ommatidia in the L. exotica compound eye was concluded to take place in the anterior and ventral marginal areas of the eye.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-7560-8
ISBN Print: 951-42-7559-4
Issue: 424
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2004. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.