Ocellar structure and neural innervation in the honeybee
AuthorHung, Y-S; Ibbotson, MR
Source TitleFrontiers in Neuroanatomy
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
AffiliationOptometry and Vision Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHung, Y. -S. & Ibbotson, M. R. (2014). Ocellar structure and neural innervation in the honeybee. FRONTIERS IN NEUROANATOMY, 8 (FEB), https://doi.org/10.3389/fnana.2014.00006.
Access StatusOpen Access
Honeybees have a visual system composed of three ocelli (simple eyes) located on the top of the head, in addition to two large compound eyes. Although experiments have been conducted to investigate the role of the ocelli within the visual system, their optical characteristics, and function remain controversial. In this study, we created three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructions of the honeybee ocelli, conducted optical measurements and filled ocellar descending neurons to assist in determining the role of ocelli in honeybees. In both the median and lateral ocelli, the ocellar retinas can be divided into dorsal and ventral parts. Using the 3-D model we were able to assess the viewing angles of the retinas. The dorsal retinas view the horizon while the ventral retinas view the sky, suggesting quite different roles in attitude control. We used the hanging drop technique to assess the spatial resolution of the retinas. The lateral ocelli have significantly higher spatial resolution compared to the median ocellus. In addition, we established which ocellar retinas provide the input to five pairs of large ocellar descending neurons. We found that four of the neuron pairs have their dendritic fields in the dorsal retinas of the lateral ocelli, while the fifth has fine dendrites in the ventral retina. One of the neuron pairs also sends very fine dendrites into the border region between the dorsal and ventral retinas of the median ocellus.
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