Single and multiple visual pigments in deep-sea fishes

J. C. Partridge, S. N. Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The visual pigments in the retinal rods of 17 species of deep-sea fish were examined by microspectrophotometry or visual pigment extract spectrophotometry. In 15 species single visual pigments were found with peak sensitivities between 470 and 490 nm, typical of deep-sea fishes. However, in one species, Stylephorous cordatus, two visual pigments were found with λmax values at 470 and 481 nm. In another species, Scopelarchus analis, three visual pigments were found with mean λmax values of 444, 479 and 505 nm. The short-wave pigment of this species was found both in main and accessory retinae. It was present both in single rods and in outer segments which had the most long-wave sensitive pigment in their distal parts. It is argued that these two-pigment rods are in the process of changing their visual pigment from a ‘juvenile’ VP505 pigment to an ‘adult’ VP444 pigment. The VP479 was found only as a single pigment in rods in the accessory retina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes


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