, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 287-294

Ontogeny of schooling behavior in the oval squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana

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In contrast to schooling behavior in fish, which is well documented, the schooling behavior of an evolutionary counterpart, squid, has not been adequately described in the literature. In the current study, we investigated the ontogeny of schooling behavior in the oval squid Sepioteuthis lessoniana reared from hatching to about two months of age. During the two months of development, the distance and angle between nearest-neighbor individuals decreased from 5.3 mantle lengths (ML) to 1.8 ML and from 42.7° to 24.2°, respectively. In addition, the swimming distance of individuals in experimental duration decreased from 530.4 to 79.9 ML, and the relative swimming speed also decreased from 17.1 to 4.6 ML/s during the same period, with increasing synchronized hovering of individuals. These observations clearly suggest that oval squid swim randomly until 20 days after hatching, then form a school 30–60 days after hatching with an inter-individual distance of 2.0 ML. At two months after hatching, oval squid individuals swam in a parallel orientation and formed a belt-shaped arrangement, similar to the adult schooling behavior observed in natural populations.