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The optical sensitivity of compound eyes: theory and experiment compared.

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 745-747
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Biology letters
Volym: 4
Nummer: 6
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Royal Society


The Land sensitivity equation is a well-known tool for comparing optical performance between eyes. Despite this, the equation has never been experimentally tested. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first experimental validation of the equation. We have investigated different insect species active at different intensities, and possessing different types of compound eyes, to compare ratios of calculated sensitivities to ratios determined experimentally. Experimental optical sensitivities were measured by adjusting the intensity of an external light source until photoreceptors in the different eyes produced roughly equal numbers of photon responses ('bumps') per second. The sensitivity ratios obtained in this manner agree well with those obtained using the equation. We conclude that the Land equation remains an excellent tool for comparing sensitivities between different eyes.



  • Zoology
  • superposition compound eye
  • apposition compound eye
  • optical sensitivity


  • ISSN: 1744-9561

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