Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.


n. pl. re·tin·u·lae (-lē)
A cluster of pigment-containing photosensitive cells in each ommatidium of the compound eye of an arthropod.

[New Latin rētinula, diminutive of Medieval Latin rētina, retina; see retina.]

re·tin′u·lar adj.
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.


a cell cluster found in the compound eye (an eye made up of many elements) of certain insects or other invertebrates with segmented limbs and bodies
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(rɪˈtɪn yə lə)

n., pl. -lae (-ˌli)
a group of elongate neural receptor cells forming part of an arthropod compound eye.
[1875–80; < New Latin; see retina, -ule]
re•tin′u•lar, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Movement of retinula cells in insect eyes on light adaptation.
Rhodopsins, retinula cell ultrastructure, and receptor potentials in the developing pupal eye of the moth Manduca sexta.
CHAPMAN (1998) reports that various orders of insects (Odonata, Blattodea, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Thysanoptera, Neuroptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera and Lepidoptera) can discriminate light of different wavelengths due to the presence of specific cells (retinula cells) and photopigments with the maximum sensitivity to light.
Wolken (1958) first described the rhabdome of the eyes of Octopus and Sepia as being formed from the radial arrangement of 4 retinula cells, which are separated from each other by pigment cells.
The crystalline cone, which is the product of two cells, lies directly below the cornea and is attached to the tip of the rhabdom of the retinula cells.