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Light-Induced Damage To Photoreceptors of Spiny Lobsters and Other Crustaceans

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Light-induced damage to the photoreceptors of lobsters, since it was first reported by Loew (1976), has been confirmed for a large variety of crustacean species. In the majority of these studies attention was focused on the crustacean retina and its principal structural elements, the retinula cells with their rhabdomeres. The effects bright lights have on the integrity and physical properties of the dioptric structures are far less well known and behavioural studies on experimentally blinded crustaceans are scarcer still. One puzzle to all researchers in the field has been why the severety of light-induced damage varied so much between not only different species of crustaceans, but also individuals of the same species. It is now believed that a combination of pre-adaptation to light, environmental temperature, diet, and blood-borne substances such as serotonin, ascorbic acid and small proteins could provide the explanation.

Affiliations: 1: Experimental Zoology and Electron Microscopy Laboratory, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.

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