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Tetrachromatic visual system in the moth Spodoptera exempta (Insecta: Noctuidae)

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The retina in the compound eye of the African army-worm moth, Spodoptera exempta, contains four different visual pigments (Fig. 4). Their existence was demonstrated by microspectrophotometry and by electrophysiological experiments, using selective colour adaptations. The pigments were localized in different receptor cells of the ommatidia (Fig. 6) by a special electron microscopic technique (Fig. 5). One of the pigments, a rhodopsin with the absorption maximum at about 560 nm, causes this eye's distinct red sensitivity up to more than 700 nm, found electrophysiologically.

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Staff member of ICIPE during sabbatical leave in 1976/77.

The results of this investigation were presented orally at the Annual Conference of ICIPE, Nairobi, June 1978. This work was supported financially by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Sonderforschungsbereich 114 (“Bionach”), and by Heinrich-Hertz-Stiftung of Bundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen, Federal Republic of Germany.

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Langer, H., Hamann, B. & Meinecke, C.C. Tetrachromatic visual system in the moth Spodoptera exempta (Insecta: Noctuidae). J. Comp. Physiol. 129, 235–239 (1979). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00657659

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  • Colour
  • Retina
  • Absorption Maximum
  • Visual System
  • Receptor Cell