The visual ecology of a deep-sea fish, the escolar Lepidocybium flavobrunneum (Smith, 1843)

Landgren, Eva, Fritsches, Kerstin, Brill, Richard and Warrant, Eric (2014) The visual ecology of a deep-sea fish, the escolar Lepidocybium flavobrunneum (Smith, 1843). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369 1636: . doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0039


Author Landgren, Eva
Fritsches, Kerstin
Brill, Richard
Warrant, Eric
Title The visual ecology of a deep-sea fish, the escolar Lepidocybium flavobrunneum (Smith, 1843)
Formatted title
The visual ecology of a deep-sea fish, the escolar Lepidocybium flavobrunneum (Smith, 1843)
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8436
1471-2970
Publication date 2014-02-19
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2013.0039
Open Access Status
Volume 369
Issue 1636
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Escolar (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, family Gempylidae) are large and darkly coloured deep-sea predatory fish found in the cold depths (more than 200 m) during the day and in warm surface waters at night. They have large eyes and an overall low density of retinal ganglion cells that endow them with a very high optical sensitivity. Escolar have banked retinae comprising six to eight layers of rods to increase the optical path length for maximal absorption of the incoming light. Their retinae possess two main areae of higher ganglion cell density, one in the ventral retina viewing the dorsal world above (with a moderate acuity of 4.6 cycles deg-1), and the second in the temporal retina viewing the frontal world ahead. Electrophysiological recordings of the flicker fusion frequency (FFF) in isolated retinas indicate that escolar have slow vision, with maximal FFF at the highest light levels and temperatures (around 9 Hz at 23°C) which fall to 1-2 Hz in dim light or cooler temperatures. Our results suggest that escolar are slowly moving sit-and-wait predators. In dim, warm surface waters at night, their slow vision, moderate dorsal resolution and highly sensitive eyes may allow them to surprise prey from below that are silhouetted in the downwelling light.
Keyword Deep-sea vision
Escolar
Eye
Visual ecology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number 20130039.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
 
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