The relative absorption spectra of the bistable photopigment of single rhabdoms from the dorsal region of the retina of the honeybee drone were obtained using slices of retina fixed in glutaraldehyde; less accurate measurements on unfixed tissue gave difference spectra that were similar to those for fixed retinae. The method used was based on measurements of absorbance changes during saturating adaptations of the visual pigment to different monochromatic lights. It is similar to previous methods based on measurements of difference spectra amplitudes, but is simpler to use and more accurate. The predominant pigment has states that absorb maximally at 446 (rhodopsin) and 505 nm (metarhodopsin). In addition, there is a small amount of another pigment whose two states absorb maximally at approximately 340 (UV) and 460 nm.

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