Cryptic Bioluminescence in a Midwater Shrimp

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Science  16 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4385, pp. 1109-1110
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4385.1109


The mesopelagic shrimp Sergestes similis emits ventrally directed bioluminescence that closely matches the intensity of downward-directed illumination and is able to rapidly modify its light output to match changes in background intensity. Masking experiments show that the photoreceptors involved are the compound eyes or adjacent tissues. Light emission originates from modified portions of the hepatopancreas and is similar to oceanic light in angular distribution and spectral characteristics. Normally oriented animals respond minimally to upward-directed light.

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