Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 17, Issue 2–3, pp 259–270 | Cite as

Growth and mating of southern African Lycoteuthis lorigera (Steenstrup, 1875) (Cephalopoda; Lycoteuthidae)

  • H. J. T. HovingEmail author
  • M. R. Lipinski
  • M. A. C. Roeleveld
  • M. D. Durholtz
Original paper


Lycoteuthis lorigera is an oceanic squid that is abundant in the Benguela system. Little is known about the biology of this squid except that it is eaten in large numbers by numerous oceanic predators and that males grow to larger size than females, which is unique for oegopsid squid. The aim of this study was to better understand the biology of this species by investigating its age and growth, as well as its mating system. Toward this end, the age of 110 individuals, ranging from 35 to 110 mm, was estimated by counting statolith growth increments. Estimates of age ranged from 131 to 315 days and varied with mantle length. No significant differences were found in the size of males and females of equivalent ages. The relationship between ML and age for both sexes was best described by an exponential growth curve, probably because no early life stages were aged in this study. Only one mature male (ML 160 mm) was aged, and preliminary estimates suggest it was 386 days old. Instantaneous growth rates were low (0.54% ML/day and 1.4% BM/day) but consistent with enoploteuthid growth rates. When the growth rate of L. lorigera was corrected for temperature encountered during the animal’s life, the growth rate was fast (0.47% BM/degree-days) and consistent with the hypothesis that small cephalopods grow fast and that large cephalopods grow older, rather than fast. Mature females were often mated and had spermatangia in a seminal receptacle on the dorsal pouch behind the nuchal cartilage. Males probably transfer spermatangia to the females using their long second and/or third arm pair since the paired terminal organs open far from the mantle opening.


Lycoteuthis lorigera Growth rate Reproduction Ageing Statoliths 



Management and staff of Marine and Coastal Management (DEAT), Iziko Museums of Cape Town and the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway, are thanked for their support. Richard Laubscher is thanked for initial help with statolith preparation and reading. Mr. Mandilese Mqoqi is thanked for collection of specimens. Drs. Deniz Haydar is thanked for help with illustrations and English language. Drs. Dick Young is thanked for help with determining the position of the described seminal receptacle. This research was partly financed by the Schure-Beijerinck-Popping Fonds (KNAW-Royal Dutch Academy for Science), the Dr. Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds and Stichting Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. T. Hoving
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. R. Lipinski
    • 2
  • M. A. C. Roeleveld
  • M. D. Durholtz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Marine BiologyUniversity of Groningen, CEESHarenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Affairs and TourismCape TownSouth Africa

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