Yovanovich, Carola A. M., Pierotti, Michele E. R., Kelber, Almut, Jorgewich-Cohen, Gabriel, Ibáñez, Roberto, and Grant, Taran. 2020. "Lens transmittance shapes ultraviolet sensitivity in the eyes of frogs from diverse ecological and phylogenetic backgrounds." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287 (1918):https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2253
The amount of short wavelength (ultraviolet (UV), violet and blue) light that reaches the retina depends on the transmittance properties of the ocular media, especially the lens, and varies greatly across species in all vertebrate groups studied previously. We measured the lens transmittance in 32 anuran amphibians with different habits, geographical distributions and phylogenetic positions and used them together with eye size and pupil shape to evaluate the relationship with diel activity pattern, elevation and latitude. We found an unusually high lens UV transmittance in the most basal species, and a cut-off range that extends into the visible spectrum for the rest of the sample, with lenses even absorbing violet light in some diurnal species. However, other diurnal frogs had lenses that transmit UV light like the nocturnal species. This unclear pattern in the segregation of ocular media transmittance and diel activity is shared with other vertebrates and is consistent with the absence of significant correlations in our statistical analyses. Although we did not detect a significant phylogenetic effect, closely related species tend to have similar transmittances, irrespective of whether they share the same diel pattern or not, suggesting that anuran ocular media transmittance properties might be related to phylogeny.