Advanced

Visual navigation in starfish: first evidence for the use of vision and eyes in starfish.

Garm, Anders and Nilsson, Dan-E LU (2014) In Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences 281(1777).
Abstract
Most known starfish species possess a compound eye at the tip of each arm, which, except for the lack of true optics, resembles an arthropod compound eye. Although these compound eyes have been known for about two centuries, no visually guided behaviour has ever been directly associated with their presence. There are indications that they are involved in negative phototaxis but this may also be governed by extraocular photoreceptors. Here, we show that the eyes of the coral-reef-associated starfish Linckia laevigata are slow and colour blind. The eyes are capable of true image formation although with low spatial resolution. Further, our behavioural experiments reveal that only specimens with intact eyes can navigate back to their reef... (More)
Most known starfish species possess a compound eye at the tip of each arm, which, except for the lack of true optics, resembles an arthropod compound eye. Although these compound eyes have been known for about two centuries, no visually guided behaviour has ever been directly associated with their presence. There are indications that they are involved in negative phototaxis but this may also be governed by extraocular photoreceptors. Here, we show that the eyes of the coral-reef-associated starfish Linckia laevigata are slow and colour blind. The eyes are capable of true image formation although with low spatial resolution. Further, our behavioural experiments reveal that only specimens with intact eyes can navigate back to their reef habitat when displaced, demonstrating that this is a visually guided behaviour. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a function of starfish compound eyes. We also show that the spectral sensitivity optimizes the contrast between the reef and the open ocean. Our results provide an example of an eye supporting only low-resolution vision, which is believed to be an essential stage in eye evolution, preceding the high-resolution vision required for detecting prey, predators and conspecifics. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
navigation, compound eye, Linckia, echinoderm, coral reef
in
Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences
volume
281
issue
1777
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • pmid:24403344
  • wos:000332382000026
  • scopus:84891848159
ISSN
1471-2954
DOI
10.1098/rspb.2013.3011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5580382a-6139-4fad-9f40-3499ed0fc3b0 (old id 4291821)
date added to LUP
2014-02-28 13:17:17
date last changed
2017-09-17 04:04:54
@article{5580382a-6139-4fad-9f40-3499ed0fc3b0,
  abstract     = {Most known starfish species possess a compound eye at the tip of each arm, which, except for the lack of true optics, resembles an arthropod compound eye. Although these compound eyes have been known for about two centuries, no visually guided behaviour has ever been directly associated with their presence. There are indications that they are involved in negative phototaxis but this may also be governed by extraocular photoreceptors. Here, we show that the eyes of the coral-reef-associated starfish Linckia laevigata are slow and colour blind. The eyes are capable of true image formation although with low spatial resolution. Further, our behavioural experiments reveal that only specimens with intact eyes can navigate back to their reef habitat when displaced, demonstrating that this is a visually guided behaviour. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of a function of starfish compound eyes. We also show that the spectral sensitivity optimizes the contrast between the reef and the open ocean. Our results provide an example of an eye supporting only low-resolution vision, which is believed to be an essential stage in eye evolution, preceding the high-resolution vision required for detecting prey, predators and conspecifics.},
  articleno    = {20133011},
  author       = {Garm, Anders and Nilsson, Dan-E},
  issn         = {1471-2954},
  keyword      = {navigation,compound eye,Linckia,echinoderm,coral reef},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1777},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences},
  title        = {Visual navigation in starfish: first evidence for the use of vision and eyes in starfish.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.3011},
  volume       = {281},
  year         = {2014},
}