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Spectral sensitivity of screening pigment migration in the compound eye of manduca sexta

, : Spectral sensitivity of screening pigment migration in the compound eye of manduca sexta. Journal of Comparative Physiology A Sensory Neural & Behavioral Physiology 153(1): 59-66

The pupillary response in the compound eye of M. sexta results from pigment migration in pigment cells located distal to the retina. Reflectance photometry was used to measure the spectral sensitivity of the pupillary response, and pupillary action spectra was compared with the ERG [electroretinogram] spectral sensitivity function and the absorption spectra of retinal visual pigments. The spectral sensitivity of the pupillary response from 460-690 nm matches the ERG action spectrum, and both correspond to the absorption spectrum of the long wave length photopigment (P520, .lambda.max = 520 nm) present in the retina. There is a 2nd peak in pupillary action spectra between 410 and 450 nm that varies from eye to eye in its height relative to the maximum at 520 nm. The short wavelength peak corresponds to the violet receptors of the retina, whose existence was inferred from selective adaptation experiments and from the presence of a violet sensitive photopigment (P440, .lambda.max .simeq. 440 nm). A violet peak is not prominent in the dark-adapted ERG spectral sensitivity function. The variable violet peak in pupillary action spectra may reflect variation in relative input to the pigment cells from the green and violet receptors. The pupillary response is probably driven by way of the retinal receptors, rather than depending on a photosensitive system within the pigment cells themselves. As in other insects, the pupillary response in Manduca provides the possibility for non-invasively measuring visual fraction.

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