Spectral sensitivity curves can be distorted by screening pigments. We have determined whether this is true for Limulus polyphemus by determining, from receptor potentials recorded using intracellular microelectrodes, spectral sensitivity curves for normal animals and for white-eyed animals (which lack screening pigment). Our results show: (a) In median ocelli, the curve for UV-sensitive receptor cells peaks at 360 nm and does not depend on the presence of screening pigment, (b) The curve for ventral eye photoreceptors is identical to that for retinular cells from the lateral eyes of white-eyed animals and peaks at 520–525 nm. (c) In normal lateral eyes, when the stimulating light passes through screening pigment, the curve indicates relatively more sensitivity in the red region of the spectrum than does the curve for white-eyed animals. Therefore, the screening pigment is probably red-transmitting, (d) In median ocelli, the curve for visible-sensitive cells peaks at 525 nm and is approximately the same whether the ocelli are from normal or white-eyed animals. However, the curve is significantly broader than that for ventral eyes and for lateral eyes from white-eyed animals.

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