Structure, histochemistry, ontogenetic development, and regeneration of the ocellus of Cladonema radiatum dujardin (cnidaria, hydrozoa, anthomedusae)


  • Christian Weber

    1. Zoological Institute University of Zurich, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2Y2, Canada
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The ectodermal eyes, 45–55 μm in diameter, of the cnidarian hydrozoan Cladonema radiatum Dujardin possess a lens approximately 15 μm in diameter enveloped by an eyecup (retina). An overlying layer of intensely vacuolated distal process of the adjoining epithelial cells forms a transparent cornea. The eyecup is composed of three cell types: basal cells, melanin-containing pigment cells, and photoreceptor cells. The last two cell types occur in the ratio of approximately 2:1. Histogenesis of the eye both during ontogeny and regeneration is described from light and electron microscopic investigations. During ontogeny the cell types forming the retina are derived from a compact group of morphologically undifferentiated cells, but during regeneration a primordium is formed by regeneration cells. In both cases the lens is built from distal nonnucleated cytoplasmic portions pinched off from the pigment cells. The cornea is formed by distal lamellar processes of the ocellus adjoining the epithelial cells. Through EM-histochemical methods (silver impregnation and DOPA-oxidase reaction) the pigment of the chromatophores of the retina was identified as melanin.