To provide morphological bases for functional studies, the development of the photoreceptor cells in the retina of the cuttlefish Sepia esculenta from newly hatched juveniles to the adults was examined by light and electron microscopy. Four layers were distinguished in the retina: the rhabdomeric layer, subrhabdomeric layer, inner segmental layer, and plexiform layer. With the development of the retina, the structure of the plexiform layer becomes stronger. Morphometric data on the rhabdomeric microvilli from the newly hatched to the adult retinas arc presented. The thickness of the rhabdomeric layer and the total surface area of the rhabdomeric microvilli present beneath a unit surface area of the retina show an exponential increase with developmental days; the diameter of the lens shows a linear increase with days. The results of our research show that the visual acuity and sensitivity of S. esculenta continuously increased with development.
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