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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Details on the location and ultrastructural organization of 2 intracerebral ocellar regions in the giant Antarctic slater Glyptonotus antarcticus are given. Each ocellar region measures approximately 120 x 45 μm and consists of 2 overlapping ocellar subunits inserted under the neurilemma in the median part of the protocerebrum. One subunit comprises 2 retinula cells; the second 3. Small rhabdoms, made up of typical microvilli, are formed by both subunits. Lipid droplets, but no screening pigment granules, were present in all 5 retinula cells together with a host of intracellular organelles characteristic of membrane-turnover processes. It is concluded that direct photostimulation of the intracerebral ocelli is likely and that functionally they could be analogous to the pineal organ of lower vertebrates. Evidence is presented that, at least anatomically, the intracerebral ocelli are independent from other sensory complexes in the head of G. antarcticus, such as the compound eyes, the organ of Bellonci, and the sensory pores.


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