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n. single part of a compound eye in arthropods (Zoology)
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The compound eyes of insects, mantis shrimp and millipedes are composed of units called ommatidia (singular: ommatidium). An ommatidium contains a cluster of photoreceptor cells surrounded by support cells and pigment cells. The outer part of the ommatidium is overlaid with a transparent cornea. Each ommatidium is innervated by one axon and thus provides the brain with one picture element. The brain forms an image from these independent picture elements. The number of ommatidia in the eye depends upon the type of insect and ranges from just a handful in the primitive Archaeognatha and Thysanura to around 30 thousand in larger Anisoptera dragonflies and in some Sphingidae among moths.
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1. any of the numerous small cone-shaped eyes that make up the compound eyes of some arthropods
(hypernym) simple eye, stemma, ocellus
(part-holonym) compound eye
|Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)||Download this dictionary|
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), edited by Noah Porter. About
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