Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The spatial resolution of compound eyes is determined by their interommatidial angles, by the optical quality and rhabdom dimensions of the ommatidia, and by illumination level. Among insects, interommatidial angles vary from tens of degrees in Apterygota, to as little as 0.24° in dragonflies. Resolution better than this is not attainable in compound eyes of realistic size, because of the limit imposed by diffraction. The smaller the interommatidial angle, the greater the distance at which objects—prey, predators, foliage, or flowers—can be resolved. Insects with different lifestyles have contrasting patterns of interommatidial angle distribution, related to forward flight, capture on the wing, and predation on horizontal surfaces.

Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barlow H.B."The size of ommatidia in apposition eyes."J. Exp. Biol.1952Vol 29667674
2. Baumgrtner H."Der Formensinn und die Sehschrfe der Bienen."Z. Vgl. Physiol.1928Vol 756143
3. Buchner E.,"Behavioral analysis of spatial vision in insects"Photoreception and vision in invertebrates. Ali M.A.PlenumNew York1984561621
4. van Buddenbrock W."Vergleichende Physiologie Bd. I. Sinnesphysiologie."BirkhuserBasel1952
5. Cleary P., Deichsel G., Kunze P."The superposition image in the eye of Ephestia khniella"J. Comp. Physiol. A1977Vol 1197384
6. Collett T.S., Land M.F."Visual control of flight behavior in the hoverfly Syritta pipiens L."J. Comp. Physiol.1974Vol 99166
7. Dahmen H."Eye specialisation in waterstriders: an adaptation to life in a flat world."J. Comp. Physiol. A1991Vol 169623632
8. de Vries H."Physical aspects of the sense organs."Prog. Biophys.1956Vol 6207264
9. del Portillo J."Beziehungen zwischen den ffnungswinkeln der Ommatidien, Krmmung und Gestalt der Insektenaugen und ihrer funktionellen Aufgabe."Z. Vgl. Physiol1936Vol 23100145
10. Dietrich W."Die Facettenaugen der Dipteren."Z. Wiss. Zool.1909Vol 92465539
11. Exner S."Die Facettenaugen der Dipteren von Krebsen und Insecten."BerlinSpringer1891Deuticke, Leipzig. Translation by Hardie, R. 1989. The physiology of the compound eyes of insects and crustaceans
12. Franceschini N.,"Sampling of the visual environment by the compound eye of the fly: fundamentals and applications"Photoreceptor optics. Snyder A.W., Menzel R.BerlinSpringer197598125
13. Franceschini N., Kirschfeld K."Les phnomnes des pseudopupille dans l'oeil de Drosophila"Kybernetik1971Vol 9159182
14. Giurfa M., Vorobyev M., Kevan P., Menzel R."Detection of coloured stimuli by honeybees: minimum visual angles and receptor specific contrasts."J. Comp. Physiol. A1996Vol 178699709
15. Gtz KG."Die optischen bertragungseigenschaften der Komplexaugen von Drosophila"Kybernetik1965Vol 2215221
16. Hardie R.C."Electrophysiological analysis of the fly retina."I. Comparative properties of R16 and R7 and R8. J. Comp. Physiol. A1979Vol 1291933
17. Hardie R.C., Franceschini N., Ribi W., Kirschfeld K."Distribution and properties of sex-specific photoreceptors in the fly Musca domestica"J. Comp. Physiol. A1981Vol 145139152
18. van Hateren J.H."Waveguide theory applied to optically measured angular sensitivities of fly photoreceptors."J Comp. Physiol. A1984Vol 154761771
19. van Hateren J.H.,"Photoreceptor optics: theory and practice"Facets of vision. Stavenga D.G., Hardie R.C.BerlinSpringer19897489
20. van Hateren J.H., Hardie R.C., Rudolph A., Laughlin S.B., Stavenga D.G."The bright zone, a specialised dorsal eye region in the male blowfly Chrysomyia megalocephala"J. Comp. Physiol. A1989Vol 164297308
21. Hausen K., Strausfeld N."Sexually dimorphic interneuron arrangements in the fly visual system."Proc. R. Soc. London B1980Vol 2085171
22. Horridge G.A."The eye of the firefly Photuris"Proc. R. Soc. London B1969Vol 171445463
23. Horridge G.A."The separation of visual axes in apposition compound eyes."Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London B1978Vol 285159
24. Horridge G.A., McLean M."The dorsal eye of Atalophlebia (Ephemeroptera)."Proc. R. Soc. London B1978Vol 200137150
25. Hughes A.,"The topography of vision in mammals of contrasting lifestyle: comparative optics and organization"Handbook of sensory physiology. Crescitelli F.BerlinSpringer1977613756VII/5
26. Jervis M.A."A taxonomic revision of the pipunculid fly genus Chalarus Walker, with particular reference to the European fauna."Zool. J. Linnean Soc.1992Vol 105243252
27. Kirschfeld K.,"The resolution of lens and compound eyes"Neural principles in vision. Zettler F., Weiler R.BerlinSpringer1976354370
28. Kirschfeld K., Wenk P."The dorsal compound eye of simuliid flies: an eye specialized for the detection of small, rapidly moving objects."Z. Naturforsch.1976Vol 31764765
29. Labhart T., Nilsson D-E."The dorsal eye of the dragonfly Sympetrum: specializations for prey detection against the sky."J. Comp. Physiol. A1995Vol 176437453
30. Land M.F."The resolving power of diurnal superposition eyes measured with an ophthalmoscope."J. Comp. Physiol. A1984Vol 154515533
31. Land M.F.,"Variations in the structure and design of compound eyes"Facets of vision. Stavenga D.G., Hardie R.BerlinSpringer198990111
32. Land M.F."Direct observation of receptors and images in simple and compound eyes."Vision Res.1990Vol 3017211734
33. Land M.F."Visual acuity in insects."Annu. Rev. Entomol.1997Vol 42147177
34. Land M.F., Eckert H."Maps of the acute zones of fly eyes."J. Comp. Physiol. A1985Vol 156525538
35. Mallock A."Insect sight and the defining power of compound eyes."Proc. R. Soc. London B1894Vol 558590
36. Mazokhin-Porschnyakov G.A."Insect vision."PlenumNew York1969
37. Nilsson D.E.,"Optics and evolution of the compound eye"Facets of vision. Stavenga D.G., Hardie R.C.BerlinSpringer19893075
38. Nilsson D.E., Ro A-I."Did neural pooling for night vision lead to the evolution of neural superposition eyes?"J. Comp. Physiol. A1994Vol 175289302
39. Nilsson D.E., Land M.F., Howard J."Optics of the butterfly eye."J. Comp. Physiol. A1988Vol 162341366
40. Paulus H.,"The compound eye of apterygote insects"The compound eye and vision of insects. Horridge G.A.ClarendonOxford1975120
41. van Praagh J.P., Ribi W., Wehrhahn C., Wittmann D."Drone bees fixate the queen with the dorsal frontal part of their compound eyes."J. Comp. Physiol.1980Vol 136263266
42. Rossel S."Regional differences in photoreceptor performance in the eye of the praying mantis."J. Comp. Physiol.1979Vol 13195112
43. Rossel S."Binocular stereopsis in an insect."Nature (London)1983Vol 302821822
44. Schneider L., Gogala M., Draslar K., Langer H., Schlecht P."Feinstruktur und Schirmpigment-Eigenschaften der Ommatidien des Doppelauges von Ascalaphus (Insecta, Neuroptera)."Cytobiologie1978Vol 16274307
45. Schwind R."Geometrical optics of the Notonecta eye: adaptations to optical environment and way of life."J. Comp. Physiol.1980Vol 1405968
46. Seidl R."Die Sehfelder und Ommatidien-Divergenzwinkel der drei Kasten der Honigbiene (Apis mellifica). Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 1980, 367."FischerStuttgart1980
47. Seidl R."Die Sehfelder und Ommatidien-Divergenzwinkel von Arbeiterin, Knigin und Drohne der Honigbiene (Apis mellifica). Doctoral Thesis. Tech. Hochsch. Darmstadt."1982
48. Sherk T.E."Development of the compound eyes of dragonflies."III. Adult compound eyes. J. Exp. Zool.1978Vol 2036180
49. Smakman J.G.J., Hateren J.H., Stavenga D.G."Angular sensitivity of blowfly photoreceptors: intracellular measurements and wave-optical predictions."J. Comp. Physiol. A1984Vol 155239247
50. Snyder A.W.,"Physics of vision in compound eyes"Handbook of sensory physiology. Autrum H.BerlinSpringer1979225313VII/6A
51. Strausfeld N.J."Structural organization of male-specific visual neurons in calliphorid optic lobe."J. Comp. Physiol. A1991Vol 169379393
52. Srinivasan M.V., Lehrer M."Spatial acuity of honeybee vision and its spectral properties."J. Comp. Physiol. A1988Vol 162159172
53. Stavenga D.G.,"Pseudopupils of compound eyes"Handbook of sensory physiology. Autrum H.BerlinSpringer1979357439VII/6A
54. Vallet A.M., Coles J.A."A method of estimating the minimum visual stimulus that evokes a behavioral response in the drone, Apis mellifera male."Vision Res.1991Vol 3114531455
55. Warrant E.J., McIntyre P.D."Limitations to resolution in superposition eyes."J. Comp. Physiol. A1990Vol 167785803
56. Wehner R.,"Spatial vision in arthropods"Handbook of sensory physiology. Autrum H.BerlinSpringer1981287616VII/6C
57. Williams D.S."Changes of photoreceptor performance associated with the daily turnover of photoreceptor membrane in locusts."J. Comp. Physiol.1983Vol 150509519
58. Zeil J."Sexual dimorphism in the visual system of flies: the compound eyes and neural superposition in Bibionidae (Diptera)."J. Comp. Physiol.1983Vol 150379393
59. Zeil J., Nalbach G., Nalbach H-O.,"Spatial vision in a flat world: optical and neural adaptations in arthropods"Neurobiology of sensory systems. Singh R.N., Strausfeld N.J.PlenumNew York198912313
60. Zollikofer C.P.E., Wehner R., Fukushi T."Optical scaling in conspecific Cataglyphis ants."J. Exp. Biol.1995Vol 19816371646

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Israel Journal of Plant Sciences — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation