Abstract A behavioral assay was used to assess the ability of the stomatopod Hemisquilla californiensis to perceive and respond to a moving target under different wavelengths and intensities of light illumination. Subjects responded to targets rotating horizontally across their visual field by a brief startle response of their eyes or antennules but did not track the targets. Under white light responses were elicited down to a light intensity of 0.9 μW cm − 2 . Responses were seen in blue light at intensities as low as 0.5 μW cm − 2 , and in green light down to 1.0 μW cm − 2 . The animals were less sensitive to red light, with no responses seen at intensities below 3.0 μW cm − 2 . Subjects did not respond to the targets at all under infrared light. This response pattern mirrors the computed sensitivity spectrum of ommatidia in the species' peripheral hemispheres but not that in most of the central bands. We conclude that this species uses the monochromatic vision in the peripheral hemispheres of its eyes to recognize objects and that the sharply tuned color receptors of the central band serve to add supplemental information if light conditions allow.