Retinal perception and ecological significance of color vision in insects

Fleur Lebhardt, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Color vision relies on the ability to discriminate different wavelengths and is often improved in insects that inhabit well-lit, spectrally rich environments. Although the Opsin proteins themselves are sensitive to specific wavelength ranges, other factors can alter and further restrict the sensitivity of photoreceptors to allow for finer color discrimination and thereby more informed decisions while interacting with the environment. The ability to discriminate colors differs between insects that exhibit different life styles, between female and male eyes of the same species, and between regions of the same eye, depending on the requirements of intraspecific communication and ecological demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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