• Anteromedial eye;
  • Retina;
  • Rhabdom;
  • Nonpigmented cells;
  • Capillary;
  • Liphistiid spider;
  • Heptathela kimurai (Chelicerata)


Background: The presence of efferent fibers in the anteromedial eye of liphistiid spiders kept in natural daily cycles of illuminance has been reported. However, this report is limited to innervation by the efferent fiber and daily rhabdomal changes, and there have been no detailed ultrastructural accounts of the eye.

Methods: The fine structure of this eye was examined by electron microscopy.

Results and conclusions: The eye consists of a cornea, a lens, a vitreous body, and a retina. The retina contains 13 or 14 receptor cells and glial cells. The rhabdoms are distal to the nuclei of the receptor cells. In the distal region of the receptive segment, the rhabdomeres lie in the center of the cell. In the middle region, anisomorphic rhabdoms formed by microvilli from adjacent cells are at the cell periphery. In the proximal region, the rhabdomeres are situated in the center of the cell. The ocellar nerve of the eye runs toward the protocerebrum and enters the posterior part of the first optic ganglion of the secondary eyes. Pigmented cells and nonpigmented cells are observed. The pigmented cells are located in the most lateral of the eye and cover the whole eye. The nonpigmented cells are located in the receptor cell bodies and extend to the origin of the ocellar nerve. They wind to form capillaries filled with electron-dense material. These structures are discussed in comparison with those of other spiders and other chelicerates. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.