Reproductive strategies of deep-sea squid (Mastigoteuthidae, Chiroteuthidae, Batoteuthidae and Cranchiidae)
Reproductive systems of rare adult specimens of the deep-sea squid genera Chiroteuthis, Mastigoteuthis, Liocranchia, and Bathoteuthis were collected in 2006 and 2015 in the different research surveys in the Atlantic Ocean between 46°40′S and 17°11′N. Whole squids were preserved in 4% buffered formaldehyde solution, subsequently transferred into 70% ethanol and studied in laboratory condition providing initial observations on spawning pattern in these animals. The potential fecundity of Ch. cf. joubini was ~ 45,000–50,000, the maximum egg size was 1.6–1.7 mm, while those of M. agassizii were ~ 8000–16,000 and 1.7–1.9 mm respectively. A maturing female of B. skolops had ~ 4800 eggs of which some ~ 1200 were atretic. The ovary of a spent L. reinhardti contained ~ 116,500 post-ovulatory follicles and no residual egg. Mature females of Chiroteuthis and Mastigoteuthis had spematangia implanted externally in the mantle, whereas Liocranchia had a specialised spermatangia receptacle on the inside of the mantle. Reproductive adaptations of these genera are discussed in relation to spawning habits of other deep-sea squids. Synchronous ovulation was found to be a prevailing type of the gonad development with all eggs being spawned as a single batch, with ot without brooding. In some species, this single batch is not released at once but in several consequent portions exhibiting ‘extended synchronous’ spawning.
We greatly appreciate the comments and suggestions of two anonymous reviewers. HJTH was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under grants HO 5569/1-2 (Emmy Noether Junior Research Group) and a grant CP1218 of the Cluster of Excellence 80 “The Future Ocean”. “The Future Ocean” is funded within the framework of the Excellence Initiative by the DFG on behalf of the German federal and state governments. We are grateful for the support of the captains, chief scientists and crews onboard RV Meteor and RV Maria S. Merian.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
This work does not invoke any potential conflict of interest with third parties
The research did not involve any experimental work on live organisms (squids were dead when hauled onboard).
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