Changes in the refractive state during prey capture under low light in the nocturnal cardinalfish Apogon annularis Academic Article uri icon


  • Many nocturnal and crepuscular fish use vision to feed and function under low light levels. However, little is known about their ability to accommodate or their visual acuity under these light levels. We used Infrared Photoretinoscopy to track the refractive state of the eye during prey capture under low light in Apogon annularis, a nocturnal reef fish. Anatomical measurements of the eyes allowed calculations of visual acuity. Changes in the refractive state were observed in approximately 75% of the prey capturing strikes, preceding the strikes by 30 ms. These changes were rare between strikes or when prey was absent. Anatomical measurements indicated that the number of photo-detection units in a retinal image greatly exceeded the minimal number needed to detect prey. We conclude that nocturnal vision in A. annularis is sufficiently sensitive to allow accommodation during prey capture.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006