Marine Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 6, pp 1151–1155 | Cite as

Counterillumination in the Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes Berry (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)

  • B. W. Jones
  • M. K. Nishiguchi
Research Article


The mutualism between the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes and the luminescent symbiont Vibrio fischeri has been used extensively as a model system for studies ranging from co-speciation and biogeography to gene regulation and the evolution of pathogenesis. In this association, the luminescent bacterium V. fischeri is housed in a complex light organ within the mantle cavity of E. scolopes. Prior hypotheses have assumed that sepiolid squids in general utilize the bioluminescence produced by their V. fischeri symbionts for counterillumination, a behavior that helps squid camouflage themselves by matching down-welling moonlight via silhouette reduction. This assumption, based solely on the morphology of the squid light organ, has never been empirically tested for Euprymna in the laboratory. Here, we present data demonstrating that E. scolopes can modify the intensity of light produced by V. fischeri in the light organ as down-welling light intensity changes. Bacterial bioluminescence from the light organ is directly correlated with down-welling light intensity, suggesting that E. scolopes individuals utilize and control V. fischeri luminescence for counterillumination.


Light Organ Light Production Mantle Cavity Bioluminescence Intensity Overhead Light 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyNew Mexico State University Las CrucesUSA

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