Spatial vision in the echinoid genus Echinometra.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Although eyes are generally considered necessary for image resolution, a diffuse photoreceptive system with directional sensitivity may also have this ability. Two species of the echinoid genus Echinometra were tested for spatial vision by examining their ability to locate and move towards targets of different sizes. The echinoids were significantly oriented (P<0.0001) towards a target with an angular width of 33 degrees (0.3 sr) but were not oriented to targets with angular widths of 26 degrees and 16 degrees . This ability is probably due to the blocking of off-angle light by the spines, which have approximately the correct spacing for the observed resolution. Spatial vision is advantageous for echinoids of this genus because they leave and return to small dark shelters. This first demonstration of spatial vision in an echinoderm sheds further light on the complex optical structures and photobehaviors found in this phylum.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blevins, E; Johnsen, S

Published Date

  • November 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 207 / Pt 24

Start / End Page

  • 4249 - 4253

PubMed ID

  • 15531646

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-9145

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-0949

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1242/jeb.01286


  • eng