Eyesight in Odonata

Richard J. Rowe
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Head of Gynacantha dobsoni, a crepuscular (dawn and dusk) aerial hunter.
Photo Stephen Richards. Copyright 1997 Stephen Richards.

Adult Odonata possess extremely acute eyesight. Note the complex structure of the eye with different-sized facets in different regions of the eye. These facets differ in both their light-collecting capabilities and spectral sensitivities. The dark spots on the eye are 'pseudo-pupils', physically separated parts of the eye which are 'looking' at the camera. The image is processed in giant 'optical-lobes' lying behind the eye's surface.

Note also the simple ocelli at the base of the bristle-like antennae. Ocelli have good light-gathering power and are used in maintaining flight orientation and stablity.

About This Page

Richard J. Rowe
James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Page: Tree of Life Eyesight in Odonata Authored by Richard J. Rowe. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

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