What is the black dot in the cicada's eyes and why does it seem to track the viewer? I noticed this with praying mantises too. No matter what direction you look into their eyes, the black dot in their compound eyes appears to track you.

  1. It’s because an insect’s compound eye is like a hemisphere of bundled soda straws. You can only see directly down the straws facing you.

  2. This. This here is the center of the tootsie pop for me kids. Thanks bilgetea. The rest of you lol (only some really), are like the definition of a “Short point said LONG”.

  3. This is called the 'pseudopupil' - a passive optical phenomenon that has nothing to do with the visual process at all. Whatever the background colour of the eye, the region that images the observer must look dark because it absorbs photons from the observer's direction. The dark spot moves with the viewer because different parts of the eye image different directions in space. - Animal Eyes Michael F Land & Dan-Eric Nilsson

  4. Thank you. Always thought it was neat, especially with a praying mantis cause it makes it look like they're trying to make eye contact with you.

  5. This passage seems to contradict itself. It can't both have nothing to do with the visual process and appear dark because light is being absorbed for the purpose of seeing in that specific direction.

  6. I always thought it was like optical fibers. Or upright “tubes” stacked closely together. Or like when you drive by a cornfield and look at it from 90° angle and it caused almost like a strobe effect. Not sure any of that makes sense but I have thought about it.

  7. tis an optical illusion. the shape or something and how light goes every direction off it but where your looking or something. idk im no expert but zefrank on youtube talks about it on his true facts mantis episode.

  8. We see things as scattered light off objects/surfaces. The eye will display a black dot along our line of view to it as there is no scattering of the light there, there's just absorption of the light for the insects vision. The black dot is 'focused' because of the ommatidial array in the insect eye.

  9. That’s really interesting. I’ve never noticed. Bugs are creepy to me so I don’t tend to get too close to them 😂 still fascinating from a safe distance.

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