Springtail Eyes


Simple eyes of the Springtail, Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni
Image: W.A. Reid*

Springtails are small hexapods that are adapted to a wide diversity of climates. One species, Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni can be found in Antarctica, one of the few hexpods able to survive the extreme cold. Collembola have small heads and little space for eyes. Their eyes are classified as ocelli, simple eyes, not the compound eyes of most insects. Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni eyes are less than 10 microns in diameter, which is close to the minimum size necessary for an eye to produce images. The quality of the images (if any) that are produced by their eyes are debatable. However, the consistent size, shape and pattern of the ocelli among individuals suggests a strong selection pressure and that the ocelli must be contributing to the Collembola survival and reproduction.

*Victor Benno, Meyer-Rochow, Walton A. Reid & Jozsef Gal. An ultrastructural study of the eye of Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni, a collembolan from Antarctica. Polar Biol (2005) 28: 111–118.
DOI 10.1007/s00300-004-0672-7

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Taxonomy, Vision. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Springtail Eyes

  1. Pingback: Springtail Eyes

  2. Great article, Jonathan.
    You might be interested in my blurp on the subject :

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