Multifocal lenses in coral reef fishes

Björn Karpestam, Jonas Gustafsson, Nadav Shashar, Gadi Katzir, Ronald H.H. Kröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The optical properties of crystalline lenses were studied in eleven species of coral reef fish from the Red Sea in Eilat, Israel. Three species each of diurnal planktivores, nocturnal planktivores and diurnal herbivores constituted three groups of animals with little within-group variability. In addition we studied two predators, which differed with respect to body size, prey preference, hunting method and diel activity period. All species studied have multifocal lenses. There were statistically significant differences in the optical properties of the lenses between the first three groups and between the predatory species. The properties of the lenses correlate well with known complements of visual pigments and feeding habits. Lenticular zones focusing ultraviolet light were found in two diurnal planktivores. The optical properties of the lens seem to be specifically adapted to the visual needs of each species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2923-2931
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • Chromatic aberration
  • Color vision
  • Physiological optics
  • Red Sea
  • Spherical aberration
  • Visual pigments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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