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Polarizing optics in a spider eye


Mueller, K P; Labhart, T (2010). Polarizing optics in a spider eye. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 196(5):335-348.

Abstract

Many arthropods including insects and spiders exploit skylight polarization for navigation. One of the four eye pairs of the spider Drassodes cupreus is dedicated to detect skylight polarization. These eyes are equipped with a tapetum that strongly plane-polarizes reflected light. This effectively enhances the polarization-sensitivity of the photoreceptors, improving orientation performance. With a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate that D. cupreus exploits reflective elements also present in non-polarizing tapetal eyes of other species such as Agelena labyrinthica. By approximately orthogonal arrangement of two multilayer reflectors consisting of reflecting guanine platelets, the tapetum uses the mechanism of polarization by reflection for polarizing reflected light.

Abstract

Many arthropods including insects and spiders exploit skylight polarization for navigation. One of the four eye pairs of the spider Drassodes cupreus is dedicated to detect skylight polarization. These eyes are equipped with a tapetum that strongly plane-polarizes reflected light. This effectively enhances the polarization-sensitivity of the photoreceptors, improving orientation performance. With a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate that D. cupreus exploits reflective elements also present in non-polarizing tapetal eyes of other species such as Agelena labyrinthica. By approximately orthogonal arrangement of two multilayer reflectors consisting of reflecting guanine platelets, the tapetum uses the mechanism of polarization by reflection for polarizing reflected light.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Polarization vision, Drassodes cupreus, Optics, Tapetum, Spiders
Language:English
Date:May 2010
Deposited On:15 May 2010 20:34
Last Modified:19 Sep 2018 10:27
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-7594
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-010-0516-6
PubMed ID:20229246

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