Crustacean Eye Fine Structure Seen with Scanning Electron Microscopy

Science  11 Jul 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4453, pp. 235-240
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4453.235


The internal fine structure of crustacean compound eyes has been reexamined with scanning electron microscopy. Several different preparative techniques were used in a comparative study of crab, crayfish, shrimp, and stomatopod eyes. The three-dimensional pattern of photoreceptive, dioptric, and screening components of these eyes has been directly demonstrated, and new insight has been gained into their functional organization. Particularly interesting in apposition eyes is the elaborate array of boundary membranes and protoplasmic strands linking the photoreceptive microvilli to their parent cell cytoplasm across the large intracellular vacuoles surrounding the axial rhabdom. Quantitative application of scanning electron microscopy to this system promises to advance our understanding of its proven high rate of receptor membrane turnover.