|Description:||At a low magnification of 119x, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicted some of the morphologic details displayed on the surface of a carpenter bee's, Xylocopa virginica, head in the region of the insect's three "ocelli", or simple eyes. Note the textural complexities of bumps, ridges, troughs and "hairs" or "setae", all composed of the same proteinaceous material known as chitin, as is the exoskeleton itself.|
These ocelli are composed of a layer of photosensitive cells, and are therefore, highly sensitive to changes in light. They are most adept at providing information to the honeybee's brain relative to gross movements originating in its environment, rather than minute changes. The images elucidated by these "eyes” are crude at best, unlike those generated by the insect's more complex, and much larger compound eyes.