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Visual pigment in the lens eyes of the box jellyfish Chiropsella bronzie.

  • Megan O'Connor
  • Anders Garm
  • Justin N Marshall
  • Nathan S Hart
  • Peter Ekström
  • Charlotta Skogh
  • Dan-E Nilsson
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 1843-1848
Publication/Series: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume: 277
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Royal Society

Abstract english

Box jellyfish (Cubomedusae) possess a unique visual system comprising 24 eyes of four morphological types. Moreover, box jellyfish display several visually guided behaviours, including obstacle avoidance and light-shaft attractance. It is largely unknown what kind of visual information box jellyfish use for carrying out these behaviours. Brightness contrast is almost certainly involved, but it is also possible that box jellyfish extract colour information from their surroundings. The possible presence of colour vision in box jellyfish has previously been investigated using behavioural, electrophysiological and immunohistochemical methods. However, the results from these studies are to some degree conflicting and inconclusive. Here, we present results from an investigation into the visual system of the box jellyfish Chiropsella bronzie, using microspectrophotometry and immunohistochemistry. Our results strongly indicate that only one type of visual pigment is present in the upper and lower lens eyes with a peak absorbance of approximately 510 nm. Additionally, the visual pigment appears to undergo bleaching, similar to that of vertebrate visual pigments.


  • Zoology


  • ISSN: 1471-2954
Dan-E Nilsson
E-mail: dan-e [dot] nilsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Functional zoology

+46 46 222 93 45

+46 70 623 10 64



Research group

Lund Vision Group


Doctoral students and postdocs

Phd Students, main supervisor


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