|Types of Color Change Cells|
|Chromatophores||These cells are responsible for the red, brown, and yellow pigments in cephalopod skin. Control of these cells is responsible for much of cephalopods' fine control in skin color. They are the outermost layer of color cells.|
|Iridophores||These cells are responsible for the green and blue pigments in cephalopod skin. They contain highly reflective flakes that appear metallic. They can be tilted at different angles to create different visual appearances.|
|Leucophores||These cells reflect any ambient light. In white light, they are responsible for the white in cephalopod skin. They form the background that the other cells use to form images. A resting area of skin of a dead cephalopod is white due to these cells because they reflect the ambient light. They are useful for passive color matching during camouflage.|
|Photophores||These cells are responsible for the bioluminescence found in some cephalopods. They are used in conjunction with chromatophores to produce patterns of light. They are often found in clusters unlike the rest of the cell types.|
“How cephalopods change color” http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/cephschool/HowCephalopodsChangeColor.pdf. Accessed 9/25/11
The four types of color change cells. Not all cell types are present in all species. The skin surface is at the top of the image.
adapted from http://hugroup.seas.harvard.edu/research/materials/chromatophores.jpg