Ultraviolet visual pigments in marine fishes of the family pomacentridae

Vision Res. 1994 Jun;34(11):1393-6. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90138-4.


Near-UV visual pigments have been reported in single cones of several freshwater and euryhaline fishes. The presence of UV visual pigments in stenohaline marine fishes have, as yet, not been identified. In the pomacentridae near-UV visual pigments are present in single cones from the three species we examined--the tropical coral fishes Dascyllus trimaculatus and Pomacentrus coelestis, and the temperate Chromis punctipinnis. Maximum absorption of the UV pigments is centered around 360 nm. In juvenile Chromis, however, the UV visual pigment is not present. Instead there is a single cone containing a violet-sensitive pigment absorbing maximally around 420 nm. All three species are obligate diurnal planktivores. The UV sensitivity may function to enhance their ability to forage on zooplankton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fishes / metabolism*
  • Microspectrophotometry
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / chemistry
  • Retinal Pigments / analysis*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Retinal Pigments