Polar Biology

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 357–365

Ontogenetic changes in morphometric and reproductive indices of the squid Gonatus fabricii (Oegopsida, Gonatidae) in the Norwegian Sea

  • Alexander I. Arkhipkin
  • Herman Bjørke

DOI: 10.1007/s003000050429

Cite this article as:
Arkhipkin, A. & Bjørke, H. Polar Biol (1999) 22: 357. doi:10.1007/s003000050429


Ontogenetic changes in morphometric and reproductive indices were studied using 166 individuals of the arctic gonatid squid Gonatus fabricii (7.3–322 mm pen length) collected in the southern part of the Norwegian Sea. Body proportions and consistency of the mantle and fins did not change in maturing and mature males. In contrast, during maturation the females first lost their tentacles, then the horny rings of their 4th arm suckers, and the muscular part of their body turned watery and gelatinous. Unlike most squid, G. fabricii females start mating at maturity stage III, and all but one female at stage IV had mated, as well as all spent females. Females had high values of both gonadosomatic index and maturity indices compared to those of the North Pacific gonatids, whereas gonadosomatic index values of males were low, probably due to slow functioning of both testis and spermatophoric gland, and long accumulation of spermatophores in the Needham's sac. It is suggested that the breakdown of female body tissues is an adaptation for a deepwater bathypelagic “brooding” of the negatively buoyant egg-mass caused by the high specific density of the secretion from the nidamental glands in gonatids.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander I. Arkhipkin
    • 1
  • Herman Bjørke
    • 2
  1. 1.Atlantic Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (AtlantNIRO), 5 Dmitry Donskoy Street, Kaliningrad, 236000 RussiaRU
  2. 2.Institute of Marine Research, P.O. Box 1870 Nordnes, N-5024 Bergen, NorwayNO

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