As if Photeros annecohenae isn't interesting enough, here are some fun facts about the organism!

  • Photeros annecohenae is named for Dr. Anne C. Cohen, an expert in the field of ostracod taxonomy and systematics. Cohen has worked extensively with Photeros annecohenae as well as many other species of ostracod. Dr. Cohen played a part in obtaining much of the research used to create this website.

  •  Ostracod bioluminescent mating displays are only found in the Caribbean Sea (Cohen and Morin 2010).

  • The origin of the compound eye in Photeros annecohenae is independent from that in other arthropods (Gerrish and Morin 2008). This demonstrates convergent evolution.

  • More is known about the system producing luminescence in bioluminescent ostracods than that of any other organisms (including bacteria and fireflies) (James G. Morin 2011).

  • Courtship displays are one of the most complex luminescent signals known (Cohen and Morin 1990).

  • Ostracods have a more complete fossil record than any other crustacean (Introduction to the Ostracoda 2002).

  • Some species of ostracods have sperm five times the length of their body!
    Ostracods are also known for their large copulatory organs; male copulatory organs can reach up to 75% of the body’s volume (Gerrish Personal Communication)!

  • The two lateral compound eyes are larger in males than females; these eyes can cover move than 15% of the male’s body (Morin 1986)!

  • Male ostracods swim so rapidly during their mating displays that they cover the human equivalent of one and a half football fields per second (James G. Morin 2011)!

  • Asian explorers of the past dried ostracods and used them as dressings for their salads (Gerrish Personal Communication). Mmm...Tasty!

     I chose Photeros annecohenae for this project because I have heard a lot about it from Dr. Gretchen Gerrish (my BIO 105 professor and BIO 203 lab instructor), who has researched the organism extensively, and find the males’  bioluminescent mating displays fascinating. I also plan to work with this organism more closely in Dr. Gerrish’s research lab in the future so figured the webpage would be a great way to learn more about it! I believe everyone should appreciate the complexity of this organism. Size is definitely not an indicator of complexity, and Photeros annecohenae is a strong example of that, especially with its characteristic bioluminescence and how it uses this to adapt to life. Also, I think that anyone can appreciate the beauty, complexity and diversity of this species' luminescent displays. I am sure that most people I know do not know that there are organisms out there that attract mates in such an amazing way!

Now that you have completed your journey through the life of Photeros annecohenae, view the References page to check out the sources I used to create this site. Research them, and you will learn even more about the organism!