Skip to Main Content
The scotopic visual sensitivity of four species of trout: A comparative studyAuthor(s): Russel B. Rader; Timberley Belish; Michael K. Young; John Rothlisberger
Source: Western North American Naturalist. 67(4): 524-537.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (444.56 KB)
DescriptionWe compared the maximum scotopic visual sensitivity of 4 species of trout from twilight (mesotopic) to fully dark-adapted vision. Scotopic vision is the minimum number of photons to which a fully dark-adapted animal will show a behavioral response. A comparison of visual sensitivity under controlled laboratory conditions showed that brown trout (Salmo trutta) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) had maximum scotopic thresholds 2 times lower than rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) and Snake River cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki bouvieri), which did not differ from each other. A literature review tended to corroborate these results in that brown trout and brook trout were reported to be more active during the night and at twilight than cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. We also measured light intensity within open versus shaded reaches during the day, dusk, and night in 3 Rocky Mountain streams. The scotopic sensitivity of brown trout and brook trout was sufficient to allow foraging during all twilight periods and under average nighttime light intensities in open and shaded reaches, whereas the scotopic sensitivity of rainbow trout and cutthroat trout may restrict their foraging to relatively bright nocturnal conditions (twilight or a moonlit night). Native cutthroat trout restoration efforts may have greater success in open versus shaded stream reaches in the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRader, Russel B.; Belish, Timberley; Young, Michael K.; Rothlisberger, John. 2007. The scotopic visual sensitivity of four species of trout: A comparative study. Western North American Naturalist. 67(4): 524-537.
Keywordslight sensitivity, scotopic vision, cutthroat restoration, salmonids
- Rainbow trout versus brook trout biomass and production under varied climate regimes in small southern Appalachian streams
- A Regional View of the Margin: Salmonid Abundance and Distribution in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia
- Tenderfoot Creek Experimental Forest
XML: View XML