How are insect eyes protected from the Sun?

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How are insect eyes protected from the Sun?
« on: 06/06/2011 02:01:02 »
Daniel  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Naked Scientists,

I know insects cannot close their eyes, even though they have different kinds of eyes, swinging retina, multi-faceted lenses/ etc. do they keep from burning their light sensors or retina if they are in direct sunlight? If we humans had no eyelids and were out in the direct sun surely we would be blind shortly.

Thank you, Keep up the good work!!!

Daniel Spain
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/06/2011 02:01:02 by _system »


Offline RD

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How are insect eyes protected from the Sun?
« Reply #1 on: 06/06/2011 09:35:29 »
Apparently they have a variable aperture (like a pupil) in each facet of the compound eye ...

Structural changes in light- and dark-adapted compound eyes of the australian earwig Labidura riparia truncata (dermaptera)

... Upon adaptation from light to dark, the most striking photomechanical response is a proximal broadening of the cone cells, which results in a 38-fold increase in cross-sectional area of the aperture. While longitudinal rhabdom movement is small, microvillar diameters swell in response to light and contract in the dark.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2011 09:37:23 by RD »