Taxonomic considerations of squids of the family Loliginidae (Cephalopoda: Myopsida) supported by morphological, morphometric, and molecular data

  • Mariana Díaz-Santana-Iturrios
  • César Augusto Salinas-Zavala
  • Jasmín Granados-Amores
  • José de la Cruz-Agüero
  • Francisco J. García-RodríguezEmail author
Original Paper


The taxonomy of squids in the family Loliginidae Lesueur, 1821 is complicated due to their inconsistent descriptions which hamper identification at the species level. In this study, a taxonomic revision of loliginid squids from the northwestern Atlantic was carried out considering morphological, molecular, and morphometric characteristics. Squid were collected in four oceanographic cruises along the coast of Tamaulipas, Gulf of Mexico during the period of 2012 to 2014. Museum (NMNH) specimens (type and non-type material) of the species reported for this area were also considered. The morphological attributes described for each species allowed us to confirm the identity of Doryteuthis pealeii (Lesueur, 1821), Lolliguncula brevis (Blainville, 1823), and males of Doryteuthis pleii (Blainville, 1823); the identification of females of D. pleii and Doryteuthis roperi (Cohen, 1976) (the latter only represented by museum material) was not achieved because of the high interspecific similarity. Three genetic clades were detected with COI sequences associated with each of the three field-collected species that were identified morphologically, including the unidentified females, which were recognized as D. pleii. The morphometry of these three groups was addressed by canonical variate analysis, which supported the interspecific differences. A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted for D. roperi and D. pleii due to their high level of morphological similarity. This analysis indicated significant differences; therefore, it did not allow to confirm if D. roperi is a synonym of D. pleii.


Identification Loliginids Discrimination Taxonomy 



We thank Dr. Michael Vecchione for his valuable advice and collaboration in making museum material available for the purposes of this research. We thank Mr. Martin Reynaga, fishing entrepreneur from the Port of Tampico, Tamaulipas, and partner of the company Reymar, S.A. for his support in carrying out this project. We are also grateful to the entire crew of the shrimp fishing vessels: Don Bacho, FIPESCO, and Esperanza XI. MDSI wishes to thank BEIFI-IPN [grant for project number 20140781] and CONACyT [grant number 344289] for their financial support during this study.


This study was funded by Fondo Mixto Tamaulipas-CONACyT 2012–2014 (grant number 177615) and Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado, Instituto Politécnico Nacional [grant number SIP-IPN 20131165).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Sampling and field studies

It is not applicable.

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. The sequences generated were deposited in the GenBank (accession numbers MG582539-MG582587).


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Politécnico Nacional-Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (IPN-CICIMAR)La PazMexico
  2. 2.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR)Instituto Politécnico NacionalLa PazMexico
  3. 3.Escuela Nacional de Ingeniería Pesquera (ENIP-UAN)San BlasMexico

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