Marine Biology

, 166:90 | Cite as

Fatty acid composition and the evidence for mixed income–capital breeding in female Argentinean short-fin squid Illex argentinus

  • Dongming Lin
  • Fei Han
  • Sipeng Xuan
  • Xinjun ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Life histories of organisms are frequently shaped by trade-offs between somatic growth and reproduction. Although previous studies have suggested that sources for reproduction are directly from ingested food in the Argentinean short-fin squid Illex argentinus, recent findings indicate that its reproductive growth probably involves somatic energy use. Therefore, we aimed to determine the reproductive allocation strategy of female I. argentinus, using fatty acids as biochemical indicators. These squid accumulate a substantial amount of fatty acids in the ovary after the onset of sexual maturation. The fatty acid composition in the ovaries was found to have a stronger correlation with that in the digestive gland, a fast turnover tissue reflecting recent dietary information, when compared to the slow turnover mantle tissue, an energy reserve organ. These results suggested that energy for reproduction is primarily from income resources. However, fatty acid composition showed that the ovaries closely resembled mantle tissue during early maturation when the gonadosomatic index increased significantly, and spawning period when the squid showed the lowest feeding activity. This evidence indicated that during these two periods, somatic energy reserve was participating in reproductive growth. Cumulatively, female I. argentinus adopts a mixed income–capital breeding strategy, in that reproduction primarily relies on income resources, coupled with the involvement of storage reserves used during the early maturation and spawning period. This study presents the potential implication of fatty acids to provide insights into the breeding strategies among cephalopods, particularly for oceanic species.



This is a contribution of the Distant Squid Fisheries Sci-Tech Group, SHOU. We thank the staff members of the Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Ocean University for providing assistance at laboratory. We are grateful to technician Shaoqin Wang and Chunxia Gao for the fatty acids determination. We also thank Drs. Guang’en Wei and Jianhua Li, and Ms. Yangyang Chen, Na Li, Xiaodi Gao, Ronghan Zhang for the biological data collected. We are grateful to Ms. Pauline Lovell for her cordial help with English edits, to Associate Editor Roger Villanueva and the reviewers for constructive comments and suggestions; and Managing Editor Barbara Santer for assistance.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41876144, 41876141), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Granted No. 16ZR1415400).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

Specimens were collected as dead squids from the commercial jigging fisheries landings, during the fishing season from December 2014 to March 2015. The specimens were analyzed in laboratory using methods that are in line with current Chinese national standards, namely Laboratory animals- General requirements for animal experiment (GB/T 35823-2018).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Marine SciencesShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries Resources, Ministry of EducationShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Collaborative Innovation Center for National Distant-water FisheriesShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.National Engineering Research Center for Oceanic FisheriesShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina

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