Compound eyes, nauplius eyes, frontal organs, intracerebral ocelli, and caudal photoreceptors are the main light and darkness detectors in crustaceans, but they need not be present all at once in an individual and in some crustaceans no photoreceptors whatsoever are known. Compound eye designs reflect on their functions and have evolved to allow the eye to operate optimally under a variety of environmental conditions. Dark-light-adaptational changes manifest themselves in pigment granule translocations, cell movements, and optical adjustments which fine-tune an eye's performance to rapid and unpredictable fluctuations in ambient light intensities as well as to the slower and predictable light level changes associated with day and night oscillations. Recycling of photoreceptive membrane and light-induced membrane collapse are superficially similar events that involve the transduction cascade, intracellular calcium, and membrane fatty acid composition, but which differ in aetiology and longterm consequence. Responses to intermittant illumination and linearly polarized light evoke in the eye of many crustaceans characteristic responses that appear to be attuned to each species' special needs. How the visual responses are processed more centrally and to what extent a crustacean makes behavioural use of e-vector discrimination and flickering lights are questions, however, that still have not been satisfactorily answered for the vast majority of all crustacean species. The degree of light-induced photoreceptor damage depends on a large number of variables, but once manifest, it tends to be progressive and irreversible. Concomittant temperature stress aggravates the situation and there is evidence that free radicals and lipid hydroperoxides are involved.
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