Marine Biology

, Volume 137, Issue 3, pp 519-526

Life history of Gonatus onyx (Cephalopoda: Teuthoidea): deep-sea spawning and post-spawning egg care

  • B. A. SeibelAffiliated withRosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098, USA Fax: 001 (305) 361-4600 e-mail: seibel@rsmas.miami.edu
  • , F. G. HochbergAffiliated withRosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098, USA Fax: 001 (305) 361-4600 e-mail: seibel@rsmas.miami.edu
  • , D. B. CarliniAffiliated withRosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098, USA Fax: 001 (305) 361-4600 e-mail: seibel@rsmas.miami.edu

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Abstract

 A reproductive strategy consisting of deep- water spawning and egg-care was inferred for the midwater squid Gonatus onyx Young, 1972. Brooding females and associated eggs and hatchlings, captured between 1250 and 1750 m depth off southern California, are described. Brooding females appear to be senescent and lack tentacles. Large eggs of this species (3 mm) at cold temperatures (3 °C at capture depth) may require as long as 9 mo to develop. The high lipid content of the digestive gland in adult females of this species may provide fuel to support such an extended “brooding” period.