Gonodactylus platysoma, UV-excited fluorescence

From http://arthropoda.southernfriedscience.com/?p=2592 : 
I talked previously about fluorescence in stomatopods here. However, I don’t know if the patterns on G. platysoma are used to amplify any particular signals. These animals live in shallow water and would have less use for fluorescent signal amplification.”

Images 1-3 from Marshall et al. 2007. “Stomatopod eye structure and function: A review.” Arthropod Structure & Development. Volume 36, Issue 4, Pages 420–448. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asd.2007.01.006 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1467803907000126

Image 4 from Marshall et al. 1999. “Behavioural evidence for polarisation vision in stomatopods reveals a potential channel for communication.” Current Biology. Volume 9, Issue 14, Pages 755–758. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0960-9822(99)80336-4

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982299803364

The Stomatopetrel: Awesome in every sense of the word… especially the sense of “inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear” (ref)

Similar sentiments have been expressed regarding the Pirahnamoose: http://wondermark.com/495/

Art by JL Hirten: http://www.jlhirten.com/ 

Via: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/06/hybrid-animal-wish-list/?pid=7018&viewall=true

EDIT: How much extra weight can those remote-controlled shark balloons carry? This NEEDS to come to a burn…

The peacock mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odontodactylus_scyllarus

Check out blog posts by Ed Yong and The Featured Creature

Photos 1 and 2: All over the interwebs, posted here among other places

Photo 3: via The Featured Creature; credited to thekaufenchoke.wordpress.com

Image 4: A webcomic homage by The Oatmeal, complete with merchandise

Stomatopods rule! They have 16 photoreceptor classes!  Humans? A paltry 3! (Psssht, okay — and mayyybe up to 4. Rarely.) PLUS stomatopods can distinguish between linearly and circularly polarized light!

Slide by Michael Bok: http://arthropoda.southernfriedscience.com/?p=1776

“This is a comparison of photoreceptor classes in human and mantis shrimp retinas. Each photoreceptor class has a distinct wavelength sensitivity curve. On the human plot, you can see our three cone photoreceptor classes; blue, green, and red. These receptors cover the electromagnetic light spectrum between 400 nm (violet) and 700 nm (red). Our brains are able to process relative stimulation between the three cone photoreceptor classes, allowing us to differentiate many colors.

Mantis Shrimp don’t have the advantage of a large brain for downstream processing, so they take another approach to seeing many colors: They have 16 distinct photoreceptor classes, packed via optical filtering into tight slivers of the spectrum. Of these, five classes are sensitive to UV light, below our visual range (these are the receptor classes that I am attempting to characterize). In addition, not shown in this slide, mantis shrimp can discriminate linearly and circularly polarized light.”

Comic from Abstruse Goose: http://abstrusegoose.com/421

(Excellent reference in filename: if_the_doors_of_perception_were_expanded_everything_would_appear_as%20it_is-infinite.jpg)