Crustaceans Can Become ‘Invisible’

Crustaceans Can Become ‘Invisible’

Crustaceans are a diverse group of animals that include some of the most fascinating and unique creatures in the world. They are found in a variety of environments, including freshwater, saltwater, and land, and come in a wide range of sizes, from microscopic plankton to giant crabs and lobsters.

One of the most fascinating aspects of crustaceans is their incredible diversity. There are more than 67,000 known species of crustaceans, with new species being discovered all the time.

Larval decapod crustaceans can ‘turn invisible’

A recent study has revealed that larval decapod crustaceans have developed a unique way to remain hidden from predators in the ocean. Although many oceanic prey animals use transparent bodies to evade detection, the requirement of conspicuous eye pigments for vision often compromises their ability to remain hidden. However, researchers have discovered a reflector that overlays the eye pigments of the crustaceans, which helps them blend into the background and avoid detection.

The ultracompact reflector is made up of a photonic glass of crystalline isoxanthopterin nanospheres, which are modulated to tune the reflectance from deep blue to yellow, enabling the crustaceans to blend in different environments. The reflector also has the potential to improve the sensitivity of the tiny eyes by acting as an optical screen between photoreceptors. The study suggests that this multifunctional reflector could serve as inspiration for the construction of tunable artificial photonic materials using biocompatible organic molecules.

In addition to their fascinating biology and behavior, crustaceans also play important roles in ecosystems and in human culture. Many species are important food sources for people around the world, while others are critical to the health of aquatic and terrestrial environments.

The incredible diversity, unique body structure, and remarkable adaptations of crustaceans make them one of the most fascinating groups of animals on the planet, with much still to be discovered and explored about these incredible creatures.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

One thought on “Crustaceans Can Become ‘Invisible’

  1. Elizabeth Delproposto · Edit

    That is very interesting I never knew that & I never heard of a crustacean called “larval decopods” before either! Absolutely amazing so many animals & plants & ecosystems on planet earth we still don’t know about!!! We’re learning new things every day ????


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