Friday, January 4, 2013

Glowing spider eyes


UV induced fluorescence of spider eyes

Fluorescence of spiders and spider nets is a known phenomenon (see links below). Normally spiders have fluorescent cuticles that contain fluorophores (chemicals that absorb and re-emit light) as a component of the haemolymph (a fluid similar to the blood of vertebrates).
The photos show a specimen of the tarantula Eurypeime spinicrus that has fluorescent eyes. It can be observed by long-wave ultraviolet light (UV A). The fluorescence is green that means the absorbed ultraviolet light is emitted with a wavelength of approximately 550 nm. The fluorescence of eyes means that they contain also some fluorophores like those in the haemolymph.

For further reading:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/12/12/great-glowing-spiders/

This is the head of Eurypeime spinicrus:



The eyes of Eurypeime spinicrus in visible light:




 The eyes of Eurypeime spinicrus in UV A:




 And the eyes in UV B:








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