What are Chromatophores? • A majority of chromatophores are single cell that contain pigment and can reflect light. Chromatophores determine skin and eye color in ectotherms.
Subclasses of Chromatophores • Xanthophore (Yellow) • Erythrophore (Red) • Iridophore (Iridescent) • Leucophore (White) • Melanophore (Black/Brown) • Cyanophore (Blue) Melanphores are the most common of the chromatophores.
Chromatophore Structure In many reptiles and amphibians, Melanophores serve as the base usually covered by the Iridophores and then one of the remaining subclasses to give the skin color.
Purpose • Camouflage • Signaling • Temperature Regulation
Chromatophores • Some species can change color through mechanisms that move pigment and adjust reflective plates within chromatophores. • This movement of the pigmentation is achieved by cell signaling, such as hormones or neurotransmitters as a result in change of moods, temperature, stress, or changes in the environment.
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