Proximate control of diel vertical migration in Phyllosoma larvae of the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus.
Phyllosoma larvae of the spiny lobster Panulirus argus undergo diel vertical migration (DVM), in which they are at depth during the day and nearer the surface at night. This study determined the visual spectral sensitivity of Stage I larvae and investigated whether light plays a proximate role in DVM as an exogenous cue and as an entrainment cue for an endogenous rhythm in vertical migration. Under constant conditions, larvae have a circadian rhythm (24.5-h period) in vertical swimming that resulted in a twilight DVM pattern. The behavioral response spectrum and electroretinogram recording indicated two photoreceptor spectral classes with maxima at 360 and 486 nm. When stimulated in an apparatus that simulated the underwater angular light distribution, dark-adapted larvae showed only positive phototaxis, with a threshold intensity of 1.8 × 10(13) photons m(-2) s(-1) (3.0 × 10(-5) μmoles photons m(-2) s(-1)). They have an avoidance response to predator shadows in which they descend upon sudden decreases in light intensity of more than 69%. When stimulated with relative rates of decrease in light intensity as occur at sunset they ascended, whereas they descended upon relative rates of light intensity increase as occur at sunrise. Thus, the DVM pattern is controlled by both an endogenous circadian rhythm in swimming and behavioral responses to light at sunrise and sunset.
Ziegler, TA; Cohen, JH; Forward, RB
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