Paraphromina

Paraphromina

This much smaller hyperiid (in the genus Paraphromina) has eyes that make up 45 percent of its body! Its many retinas, which researchers believe are used to maximize light detection, are the small red dots attached to long cones. These eyes look upwards and are uniquely adapted to look for silhouettes of other animals illuminated by the dim light that filters down from the surface of the ocean.

At only 1 to 2 cm, these fast-moving hyperiids can be difficult to catch in the small bucket full of animals from a trawl. They typically live at depths of 100-400m on siphonophores, colonies of animals related to Portuguese Man-o-war that are distant relatives of jellyfish.

Tags: Under the microscope, Senses
Credit: 

K.J. Osborn