Limit of colour vision in dim light in larvae of the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii
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Colour vision depends on sufficient ambient light and becomes ineffective at a particular low light intensity. It is not known how decapod crustaceans see colour in dim light. In the present study we investigated the colour vision threshold in larvae of the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii in a tank under natural illumination. Plastic beads of different colours (blue, red, yellow and white) in various combinations were suspended in the tank. The larvae swam straight toward the beads and gathered around them. The number of larvae was highest on the blue and white beads. The luminance in the tank was then gradually decreased by covering it with different numbers of layers of black cloth, and the response of the larvae to the beads was video-recorded under infrared illumination. The preference for blue and white beads remained manifest as the luminance was reduced from 418 to 0.07 cd/m2, but not at 0.02 cd/m2, indicating a colour vision threshold between 0.07 and 0.02 cd/m2. The larvae have apposition compound eyes with large optical parameters, comparable to those of apposition eyes of nocturnal insects, which presumably capture more light and show enhanced sensitivity, enabling the larvae to see colour in dim light.
Kawamura, G., Bagarinao, T., Yong, A. S. K., Faisal, A. B., & Lim, .-S. (2018). Limit of colour vision in dim light in larvae of the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii.
Fisheries Science, 84(2), 365-371. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-018-1179-4
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