Stomatopods, or mantis shrimp, have the most complex retinas in the world. Their compound eyes have a specialised midband, with 12 spectral sensitivities and sensitivity to circularly polarised light. However, behavioural experiments suggest that stomatopods do not use the classical opponent processing for vision, and their method of processing information is poorly understood. In this study, we reconstructed neurons from the first optic neuropil, the lamina. This is the first processing station potentially allowing a comparison between different spectral types of photoreceptors, and therefore the first step in understanding how mantis shrimp process colour information. The different types of neurons in the lamina of stomatopods have been described anatomically, but it is still unknown how they are connected. Different parts of the retina may also have different patterns of connections in the lamina. This study aims at determining the synaptic connections within the lamina cartridges of the midband rows one to four for each photoreceptor type using light microscopy to describe the overall structures, and serial block-face SEM (3-view) to distinguish synaptic connections.
University of Queensland