What does the giant squid Architeuthis dux eat?
Architeuthis dux diet has been analysed according to information available from literature and from the analysis of gut contents of five females and two males from Mediterranean and Atlantic Iberian waters (20 specimens in total). This is the first time that A. dux diet from Atlantic and Mediterranean waters is described. Body weight of specimens ranged from 22.5 to 200 kg. In order to infer common patterns in giant squid diet according to its geographic distribution range, size and sex, available data on their diet composition structure were joined and examined with multivariate techniques. No significant differences in the trophic level on which A. dux prey on were found, considering size, sex and location. Thus, A. dux seems to play the same role in the trophic webs throughout the distribution range examined in this paper, which takes up a very wide geographic area. The trophic level estimated from the diet composition is 4.7. Obtained results show that this species preys mainly on pelagic fast swimmers and shoaling fishes and cephalopods as an opportunistic ambushing hunter.
KeywordsArchiteuthis dux Diet Trophic level Feeding strategy
- Aldrich, F. A., 1991. Some aspects of the systematics and biology of squid of the genus Architeuthis based on a study of specimens from Newfoundland waters. Bulletin of Marine Science 49: 457–481.Google Scholar
- Bello, G., 1998. Bearing of tentacle club length on food intake and body growth in males and females of Rossia macrosoma (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae). Biología Marina Mediterránea 5(1): 90–96.Google Scholar
- Bello, G. & G. Piscitelli, 2000. Effect of sex on tentacular club development and relationships with feeding efficiency and growth in Sepia orbignyana. Ophelia 53(2): 113–118.Google Scholar
- Bozzano, A., L. Recasens & P. Sartor, 1997. Diet of the European hake Merluccius merluccius (Pisces: Merlucciidae) in the Western Mediterranean. Scientia Marina 61: 1–8.Google Scholar
- Clarke, K. R. & R. N. Gorley, 2006. PRIMER v6: User Manual/Tutorial. PRIMER-E, Plymouth.Google Scholar
- Deagle, B. E., S. N. Jarman, D. Pemberton & N. J. Gales, 2005. Genetic screening for prey in the gut contents from a giant squid (Architeuthis sp.). Journal of Heredity, 96(4): 417–423.Google Scholar
- Discovery Channel, 2013. Monster squid: the giant is real. http://dsc.discovery.com/. Accessed May 2013.
- Förch, E. C., 1998. The marine fauna of New Zealand: Cephalopoda: Oegopsida: Architeuthidae (giant squid). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 110: 1–113.Google Scholar
- Guerra, A., A. F. González & F. Rocha, 2004. A review of the records of giant squid in the north-eastern Atlantic and severe injuries in Architeuthis dux stranded after acoustic explorations. ICES CM 2004/CC: 29 pp.Google Scholar
- Guerra, A., A. F. González, F. Rocha, L. Laria & J. Gracia, 2006. Enigmas de la ciencia: el calamar gigante. Fundación Caja Rural de Asturias e Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC), Vigo: 316 pp.Google Scholar
- Guerra, A., A. B. Rodríguez-Navarro, A. F. González, C. S. Romanek, P. Álvarez-Lloret & G. J. Pierce, 2010. Life-history traits of the giant squid Architeuthis dux revealed from stable isotope signatures recorded in beaks. ICES Journal of Marine Science 67: 1425–1431.Google Scholar
- Hanlon, R. T. & J. B. Messenger, 1996. Cephalopod Behaviour. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Kjennerud, J., 1958. Description of a giant squid, Architeuthis, stranded on the west coast of Norway. Universitetet i Bergen. Årbok 1958. Naturvitenkapelig rekke 9: 1–14.Google Scholar
- Kubodera, T., 2004. Studies on systematic and phylogeny of giant squid, Architeuthis, around Japanese waters. Report of JSPS Grand-in-Aid for Scientific Research 2001–2003: 1–15.Google Scholar
- Kubodera, T. & K. Mori, 2005. First-ever observations of a live giant squid in the wild. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B: Biological Sciences, London, 272(1581): 2583–2586.Google Scholar
- Lipinski, M., 1979. Universal maturity scale for the commercially important squids. The results of maturity clasification of the Illex illecebrosus population for the years 1973-77. ICNAF Research Document 79/2/38, Serial 5364, 40 pp.Google Scholar
- O'Dor, R. K. & M. J. Wells, 1987. Energy and nutrient flow. In Boyle, P. R. (ed.), Cephalopod Life Cycles, Vol. II. Comparative Reviews. Academic press, London: 109–133.Google Scholar
- Okiyama M., 1993. Kinds, abundance and distribution of oceanic squids in the Sea of Japan. In Okutani, T., R. K. O'Dor, & T. Kubodera (eds), Recent Advances in Cephalopod Fisheries Biology. Tokai University Press, Tokyo: 403–451.Google Scholar
- Pérez-Gándaras, G. & A. Guerra, 1978. Nueva cita de Architeuthis (Cephalopoda: Teuthoidea): descripción y alimentación. Investigación Pesquera 42: 401–414.Google Scholar
- Pierce, G. J. & P. R. Boyle, 1991. A review of methods for diet analysis in piscivorous marine mammals. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 29: 409–486.Google Scholar
- Pitcher, T. J., 1993. Functions of shoaling behaviour in teleosts. In Pitcher, T. J. & J. K. Parrish (eds), Behaviour of Teleost Fishes, chap. 12. Chapman & Hall, London: 294–337.Google Scholar
- Roper, C. F. E. & P. Jereb, 2010. Family Architeuthidae. In Cephalopod of the World. An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Species Known to Date. Myopsid and Oegopsid Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fisheries Purposes, no 4, vol. 2. FAO Rome: 121–123.Google Scholar
- Roper, C. F. E., C. Nigmatullin & P. Jereb, 2010. Family Ommastrephidae. In P. Jereb & Roper, C. F. E. (eds), Cephalopods of the World. An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Species Known to Date. Volume 2. Myopsid and Oegopsid Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. no. 4, vol. 2. Rome, FAO: 269–347.Google Scholar
- Sa-a, P., M. L. D. Palomares & D. Pauly, 2013. Food items table. http://www.fishbase.de/manual/English/fishbasethe_food_items_table.htm. Accessed May 2013.
- Sea around us project. www.seaaroundus.org/topic/species/. Accessed May 2013.
- Tuset, V. M., A. Lombarte & C. A. Assis, 2008. Otolith atlas for the western Mediterranean, north and central eastern Atlantic. Scientia Marina 72: 7–198.Google Scholar
- Watt, J., G. J. Pierce & P. R. Boyle, 1997. Guide to the identification of north sea fish using premaxillae and vertebrae. ICES Cooperative Research Report 220: 231 pp.Google Scholar
- Winkelmann, I., P. F. Campos, J. Strugnell, Y. Cherel, P. J. Smith, T. Kubodera, L. Allcock, M.-L. Kampmann, H. Schroeder, A. Guerra, M. Norman, J. Finn, D. Ingrao, M. Clarke & M. T. P. Gilbert, 2013. Mitochondrial genome diversity and population structure of the giant squid Architeuthis: genetics sheds new light on one of the most enigmatic marine species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280(1759): 1471–2954. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar