Can cuttlefish see IR light?

rcmike2

Cuttlefish
Registered
#1
Hi everyone,

I recently purchased 4 baby cuttlefish and put the web camera next to them so I can check up on them. It has a night vision mode that uses infrared light. Can the cuttlefish see IR light? I would like to be able to check on them after the lights go out but I don't want to flood them with light if it will bother them.

Thanks,
Michael
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#2
We have a reference to an article in Practical Fish Keeping that reports on cuttles seeing polarized light but I can't find anything about Infrared. The only quick reference I found suggests that IR is not common (if found at all) in aquatic environments because it does not travel well (the reason IR remotes won't work underwater - something I unfortunately discovered when trying to come up with a way to photograph with the camera inside a tank while I was completely outside).
 
Last edited:

rcmike2

Cuttlefish
Registered
#3
Thanks,
In all my searching all I could find was the article on polarized light. I tried it earlier and saw one swimming around and it didn't seem to bother it. I did notice the mysis shrimp were swimming around in front of the camera like they were being attracted to light though. Maybe they can see it.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#4
or you may be getting some reflection of the ambient light off your lens.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Sounds like an experiment in the making :sagrin:. You might try shining a flashlight in the opposite corner, waiting for them to congregate and then see if they go back to the camera when the flashlight is turned off.

Oh, and WELCOME to TONMO Mike! We have at least one other member in TN, @Terri , but she plays with very old dead things :wink:
 

Taollan

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#7
Infrared should be completely invisible to cephalopods. Cephalopod visual pigments don't even respond (or very minimally respond) to far red. We take advantage of this in our lab by using dark red bottles for dens. It allows us to shine lights into the den to check on the octopus without stressing the animal. In adult cephs we can do a quick-and-dirty test to see if they respond to a given type of light by shining the light in their eye, and seeing if their pupil closes. The pupil doesn't close or closes only slightly when we shine bright light directly into their eyes through a dark red bottle. We have tried the same thing with infrared light, and there is absolutely not reaction from the octopus, and absolutely no change in pupil size. The same is likely true of cuttlefish as well.
This is in line with most marine animals, which generally don't see red or any longer wavelengths. Those wavelengths are absorbed in water very quickly (as mentioned above), and so it is generally useless (or even detrimental) to have visual pigments that respond to these wavelengths.
 

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