The compound eyes of mantis shrimps (stomatopod crustaceans) include an unparalleled diversity of visual pigments and spectral receptor classes in retinas of each species. We compared the visual pigment and spectral receptor classes of 12 species of gonodactyloid stomatopods from a variety of photic environments, from intertidal to deep water (> 50 m), to learn how spectral tuning in the different photoreceptor types is modified within different photic environments. Results show that receptors of the peripheral photoreceptors, those outside the midband which are responsible for standard visual tasks such as spatial vision and motion detection, reveal the well–known pattern of decreasing λmaxwith increasing depth. Receptors of midband rows 5 and 6, which are specialized for polarization vision, are similar in all species, having visual λmax–values near 500 nm, independent of depth. Finally, the spectral receptors of midband rows 1 to 4 are tuned for maximum coverage of the spectrum of irradiance available in the habitat of each species. The quality of the visual worlds experienced by each species we studied must vary considerably, but all appear to exploit the full capabilities offered by their complex visual systems.