Definition of rhabdom in English:


(also rhabdome)


  • A translucent cylinder forming part of the light-sensitive receptor in the eye of an arthropod.

    • ‘Postlarvae settling at the vents have reasonably normal ommatidia, with layered rhabdoms, standard crystalline cones, and faceted external corneas reflective of the zoeal apposition eye.’
    • ‘The receptors have long fused rhabdoms and are surrounded by a tracheal tapetum.’
    • ‘Thus, in some parts of the retina the larval rhabdoms are incorporated into the receptor array.’
    • ‘In most species that have only a single visual pigment in main rhabdoms as adults, the larval pigment appears to be identical to that of the adult.’
    • ‘As mentioned above, the screening pigment is essential; otherwise, the rhabdoms would receive light from all directions, destroying any spatial information.’


Late 19th century from late Greek rhabdōma, from rhabdos ‘rod’.