2006 Volume 41 Issue 1 Pages 117-122
In order to solve the long-standing problem as to whether the eyes of Scutigera coleoptrata were functional and responded to flashes of light, we carried out electrophysiological recordings from them with glass electrodes pushed into the eye's retina. The electroretinograms were typical cornea-negative responses, similar in shape and duration to those seen in other arthropods, including those with cryptic lifestyles. We located two sensitivity peaks: one in the vicinity to light of 448 nm wavelength and a second 0.25–0.5 log unit lower one in the ultraviolet region (UV) of the spectrum around 350 nm and we expect at least two kinds of visual pigments to be present. We can only speculate on the surprisingly well-developed UV-sensitivity and suggest that it could serve the animal as an alarm colour to avoid open, illuminated spaces or to detect exits from concealed hiding places in soil crevices and from under boulders.