Comparative study of crustacean larval photoresponses
Ovigerous females of four brachyuran (Cancer gracilis, Lophopanopeus bellus bellus, Hemigrapsus oregonensis and Scyra acutiforns) and two anomuran (Pagurus beringanus and P. granosimanus) species, which live as adults in coastal areas, were collected near Friday Harbor, Washington, USA, in 1985, and spectral sensitivity and phototactic pattern of their larvae were measured. Responses were compared with previous measurements on estuarine species to determine whether responsiveness varies with adult habitat. Estuarine and coastal species have similar photoresponses. Spectral sensitivity of the test brachyran species had two maxima, one near 400 to 420 nm and another around 500 nm. The anomuran species were similar, but had an additional peak in the region of 580 to 620 nm. This sensitivity is adapted to daytime light conditions in the adult environment, and available spectra at the time of larval movement during diel vertical migration. Upon light adaptation and stimulation with a narrow light field, all six species showed positive phototaxis to high light intensities and a pronounced negative response to low intensities. Only the negative response will occur in natural underwater light conditions, and it is part of a predator-avoidance shadow-response which operates in areas of higher light intensity. The same phototactic pattern is observed in all species when darkadapted except H. oregonensis. If nocturnal vertical migration occurs, this negative response may be responsible for the descent at sunrise and depth maintenance during the day. © 1987 Springer-Verlag.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)