1. The retinas of all marine fishes so far examined except the Labridae, and of all terrestrial vertebrates contain the rhodopsin system alone; those of fresh water fishes the porphyropsin system alone. In the present paper the visual systems of a number of euryhaline fishes are examined—fishes capable of existence in a wide range of salinities, though usually restricted in spawning either to the sea (catadromous) or to fresh water (anadromous).
2. The retinas of the anadromous salmonids (brook trout, rainbow trout, and chinook salmon) contain mixtures of the rhodopsin and porphyropsin systems, predominantly the latter. The retinas of the catadromous eel and the killifish also contain mixtures of both systems, but in reverse proportions. The retinas of the anadromous white perch and alewife contain the porphyropsin system alone.
3. There is therefore an extensive parallelism between the salinity relations of these animals and the composition of their visual systems. All of them possess predominantly or exclusively the visual system commonly associated with the environment in which the fish spawns.
4. These patterns are fixed genetically, and are to a first approximation independent of the history of the individual. They may represent transitional stages in the evolutionary migration of fishes to and from the sea. The presence of both types of visual system in the retinas of some euryhaline fishes incidentally satisfies one formal requirement of two-component color vision.