1. Relative size of the eyes to overall body size of a pipunculid fly?

    But as that would be a trifle esoteric, I’m guessing it has something to do with the amount of sensory input from a compound eye compared to our own eyes.

    1. Michael Bok says:

      Good guess, but that’s not it.

  2. Wilf says:

    At a guess I would say the size required for a compound eye to achieve the same visual performance as a human eye.

    Total shot in the dark, though.

    1. Michael Bok says:

      Yep, that’s it. In order for a compound eye to have the same resolution as a human’s camera eye, it would need to be a meter in diameter. In hexagonal facet actually represents 1000 individual facets.

      This seems like a pretty damning trait of compound eyes, so why are they so successful?

      1. Lucy Carty says:

        “They have at least eight different type of cell involved in colour vision (compared to the human three), including several sensitive to ultraviolet wavelengths (to which humans are blind). In addition, they are able to sense and use minute information about the direction of light – known as its ‘polarization'”
        I know I cheated…
        But, it is fascinating…
        I’ll go get my coat…

        1. Lucy Carty says:

          That was mantis shrimp specific btw…

          1. Michael Bok says:

            Those characteristics have more to do with the structure and sensitivity of the photoreceptors. I am referring to the optical structure of the compound eye in a general sense.

          2. Lucy Carty says:

            Am so out of my depth. Will check out your post next week though…

      2. Wilf says:

        Good question.

        Thinking about it compound eyes tend to be found on small animals, and if I remember my high school physics, the resolution of a single lens depends on its’ radius. I would guess that a small animal would be incapable of supporting a single lens capable of producing a useful image and the use of multiple smaller lenses gets around the problem.

        Also I suspect that it takes less energy to produce a workable compound eye than a camera eye, probably not worth the investment when many arthropods are so short lived.

        And, of course, when evolution makes a ‘decision’ it’s hard to go back!


  3. JR says:

    smoke more pot?

  4. Daniel says:

    He is a banker looking for people, so he can compound his assets? Hungry eyes?

  5. Daniel says:

    If the human’s eyes relative to the size of their body were the same ratio of an insect’s [compound] eyes to their body, the human’s eyes would be equal to 1 meter in proportion to his body?

  6. Pentatomid says:

    Who is this figure by?

    1. Michael Bok says:

      Not sure about the artist (E.F.), but I think this was in one of the “Animal Eyes” books. Not sure at the moment, I’m in the field and don’t have access to all my references.

    2. Michael Bok says:

      Here is the original reference for that figure:

      Kirschfeld K (1976) The resolution of lens and compound eyes. Neural Principles of
      Vision, eds Zettler F, Weiler R (Springer, New York), pp 356–370.