Miriam J Henze

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Opsins are key proteins in animal photoreception. Together with a light-sensitive group, the chromophore, they form visual pigments which initiate the visual transduction cascade when photoactivated. The spectral absorption properties of visual pigments are mainly determined by their opsins, and thus opsins are crucial for understanding the adaptations of(More)
Multiple visual pigments, prerequisites for color vision, are found in arthropods, but the evolutionary origin of their diversity remains obscure. In this study, we explore the opsin genes in five distantly related species of Onychophora, using deep transcriptome sequencing and screening approaches. Surprisingly, our data reveal the presence of only one(More)
Onychophorans typically possess a pair of simple eyes, inherited from the last common ancestor of Panarthropoda (Onychophora+Tardigrada+Arthropoda). These visual organs are thought to be homologous to the arthropod median ocelli, whereas the compound eyes probably evolved in the arthropod lineage. To gain insights into the ancestral function and evolution(More)
Lower-field myopia has been described for various vertebrates as an adaptation that permits the animal to keep the ground in focus during foraging, and, at the same time, to look out for distant objects, such as predators, in the upper visual field. Off-axis measurements with infrared photoretinoscopy in the eye of Geoemyda spengleri revealed a constant(More)
Pancrustacea (Hexapoda plus Crustacea) display an enormous diversity of eye designs, including multiple types of compound eyes and single-chambered eyes, often with color vision and/or polarization vision. Although the eyes of some pancrustaceans are well-studied, there is still much to learn about the evolutionary paths to this amazing visual diversity.(More)
The European hummingbird hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum is a diurnal nectar forager like the honeybee, and we expect similarities in their sensory ecology. Using behavioural tests and electroretinograms (ERGs), we studied the spectral sensitivity of M. stellatarum. By measuring ERGs in the dark-adapted eye and after adaptation to green light, we(More)
Vietnamese leaf turtles (Geoemyda spengleri) were tested for their ability to focus on prey objects at various distances. Accommodation was continuously measured by infrared photoretinoscopy. All animals investigated during this study showed a surprisingly high precision of accommodation over a range of over 30 D. Measured accommodation matched the target(More)
The evolutionary relationship between signals and animal senses has broad significance, with potential consequences for speciation, and for the efficacy and honesty of biological communication. Here we outline current understanding of the diversity of colour vision in two contrasting groups: the phylogenetically conservative birds, and the more variable(More)
Field crickets (Gryllus campestris L.) are able to detect the orientation of the electric vector (e-vector) of linearly polarized light. They presumably use this sense to exploit the celestial polarization pattern for course control or navigation. Polarization vision in crickets can be tested by eliciting a spontaneous polarotactic response. Previously,(More)