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Related to Iridophore: Erythrophore, Xanthophores


1. Any of several types of pigment cells, especially one found in a fish, amphibian, or reptile.
2. A multicellular organ in cephalopods that contains pigment cells.
3. A specialized pigment-bearing organelle in certain photosynthetic bacteria.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Zoology) a cell in the skin of frogs, chameleons, etc, in which pigment is concentrated or dispersed, causing the animal to change colour
2. (Botany) another name for chromoplast
ˌchromatoˈphoric, chromatophorous adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(krəˈmæt əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr)

1. a cell containing pigment, esp. one that produces a temporary color, as in cuttlefishes.
2. one of the colored plastids in plant cells.
chro•mat`o•phor′ic (-ˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-) chro•ma•toph•or•ous (ˌkroʊ məˈtɒf ər əs) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"In our mathematical model, we use what we know about the interactions of the other two cell types to explain what drives iridophore behavior.
When they looked more closely inside a type of cell called "iridophore" under an electron microscope, they noticed an incredibly neat pattern of crystals.
Medaka has four main pigments (melanophore, iridophore, leucophore, and xanthophore).
The chromatophores of teleosts are generally classified into seven categories on the basis of their color: melanophore (black), erythrophore (red), xanthophore (yellow), cyanophore (blue), leucophore (white), iridophore (iridescent color), and erythro-iridophore (reddish violet) (1-4).
pealeii has now revealed very localized rows of iridophore cells that are reflecting and polarizing incident light and thus producing these patterns.
Shashar and Hanlon (1997) described a few specific polarization components of squid and correlated these patterns with the distribution of iridophore cells in the animals' skin.
In cuttlefish, the polarized patterns have been suggested to be produced by derreal reflecting cells such as those found in the "Pink iridophore arm stripes" (7).
Pigment cells (chromophores) are melanophores, similar to melanocytes (black), xanthophores (yellow), and iridophores (light grey).
Mature chromatophores are often grouped by the color of their reflectance under white light: xanthophores (yellow), erythrophores (red), iridophores (reflective and/or iridescent), leucophores (white), melanophores (black/brown), and cyanophores (blue).
Malleable skin coloration in cephalopods: selective reflectance, transmission and absorbance of light by chromatophores and iridophores. Cell Tissue Res.
The dermis also contains leucophores (cells which scatter light to produce white colouration [Norman 2000]), and, in the deeper layers, iridophores (cells that reflect light to produce an iridescent hue) (Ruppert and Barnes 1994; Norman 2000).