During the larval stages, the visual system of the mosquito Aedes aegypti contains five stemmata, often referred to as larval ocelli, positioned laterally on each side of the larval head. The stemmata contain two photoreceptor types, distinguished by the expression of different rhodopsins. Aaop3 rhodopsin is expressed in the majority of the larval photoreceptors. There are two small clusters of photoreceptors located within the satellite and central stemmata that express Aaop7 rhodopsin instead of Aaop3. Electroretinogram analysis of transgenic Aaop7 Drosophila indicates that Aaop3 and Aaop7, both classified as long-wavelength rhodopsins, possess similar but not identical spectral properties. Light triggers an extensive translocation of Aaop3 from the photosensitive rhabdoms to the cytoplasmic compartment, while light-driven translocation of Aaop7 is limited. The results suggest that these photoreceptor cell types play distinct roles in larval vision. An additional component of the larval visual system is the adult compound eye, which initiates development at the anterior face of the larval stemmata during the 1st instar stage. The photoreceptors of the developing compound eye show rhodopsin expression during the 4th larval instar stage, consistent with indications from previous reports that the adult compound eye contributes to larval and pupal visual capabilities.

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