Prey capture and accommodation in the sandlance, Limnichthyes fasciatus (Creediidae; Teleostei)

J Comp Physiol A. 2000 Mar;186(3):247-60. doi: 10.1007/s003590050425.


The eyes of the sandlance, Limnichthyes fas ciatus (Creediidae, Teleostei) move independently and possess a refractive cornea, a convexiclivate fovea and a non-spherical lens giving rise to a wide separation of the nodal point from the axis of rotation of the eye much like that of a chameleon. To investigate this apparent convergence of the visual optics in these phylogenetically disparate species, we examine feeding behaviour and accommodation in the sandlance with special reference to the possibility that sandlances use accommodation as a depth cue to judge strike length. Frame-by-frame analysis of over 2000 strikes show a 100% success rate. Explosive strikes are completed in 50 ms over prey distances of four body lengths. Close-up video confirms that successful strikes can be initiated monocularly (both normally and after monocular occlusion) showing that binocular cues are not necessary to judge the length of a strike. Additional means of judging prey distance may also be derived from partallax information generated by rotation of the eye as suggested for chameleons. Using photorefraction on anaesthetised sandlances, accommodative changes were induced with acetylcholine and found to range between 120 D and 180 D at a speed of 600-720 D s(-1). The large range of accommodation (25% of the total power) is also thought to be mediated by corneal accommodation where the contraction of a unique cornealis muscle acts to change the corneal curvatures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Cornea / physiology*
  • Depth Perception
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fishes*
  • Lizards
  • Optics and Photonics
  • Video Recording
  • Visual Perception*