Temporal properties of the lens eyes of the box jellyfish Tripedalia cystophora

J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2010 Mar;196(3):213-20. doi: 10.1007/s00359-010-0506-8. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


Box jellyfish (Cubomedusae) are visually orientating animals which possess a total of 24 eyes of 4 morphological types; 2 pigment cup eyes (pit eye and slit eye) and 2 lens eyes [upper lens-eye (ule) and lower lens-eye (lle)]. In this study, we use electroretinograms (ERGs) to explore temporal properties of the two lens eyes. We find that the ERG of both lens eyes are complex and using sinusoidal flicker stimuli we find that both lens eyes have slow temporal resolution. The average flicker fusion frequency (FFF) was found to be approximately 10 Hz for the ule and 8 Hz for the lle. Differences in the FFF and response patterns between the two lens eyes suggest that the ule and lle filter information differently in the temporal domain and thus are tuned to perform different visual tasks. The data collected in this study support the idea that the visual system of box jellyfish is a collection of special purpose eyes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cubozoa / anatomy & histology*
  • Cubozoa / physiology*
  • Electroretinography / methods
  • Flicker Fusion / physiology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology