Marine Biology

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 299–308 | Cite as

Luminescent flashing in the midwater squids Pterygioteuthis microlampas and P. giardi

  • R. E. Young
  • R. R. Seapy
  • K. M. Mangold
  • F. G. HochbergJr.


The luminescent flashing capabilities and swimming behavior were examined for two species of small midwater squids (Pterygioteuthis microlampas and P. giardi). Recently captured squid were placed in a small aquarium, where their movements and luminescent flashes could be recorded with an image intensifier, a photomultiplier tube and associated equipment. Flashing behavior was initiated by disturbing the squid with an eletrical shock. The following 4 behaviors were observed: (1) a short flash and a rapid departure from the electrode; (2) a short flash and a delayed, slow departure from the electrode; (3) a longer flash persisting after a rapid departure from the electrode; (4) a longer flash when departure was prevented by continuing the shock. Luminescent flashes probably have a general defensive function, discouraging or disrupting an attack by potential predators, and within this context there may exist numerous strategies involving flashes.


Numerous Strategy Photomultiplier Tube Image Intensifier Potential Predator Swimming Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. E. Young
    • 1
  • R. R. Seapy
    • 2
  • K. M. Mangold
    • 3
  • F. G. HochbergJr.
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCalifornia State University at FullertonFullertonUSA
  3. 3.Laboratorie AragoBanyuls-sur-MerFrance
  4. 4.Santa Barbara Museum of Natural HistorySanta BarbaraUSA

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