Fisheries Science

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 317–323 | Cite as

The relationship between paralarval feeding and morphological changes in the proboscis and beaks of the neon flying squid Ommastrephes bartramii

  • Kazuhisa Uchikawa
  • Mitsuo Sakai
  • Toshie Wakabayashi
  • Taro Ichii
Original Article Biology


We compared the diet of Ommastrephes bartramii paralarvae with morphological changes in their beaks and proboscis (fused tentacles). The paralarvae were collected north of the Hawaiian Islands during 2001 and 2002 and ranged in mantle length (ML) from 1.1 to 13.2 mm. They fed on crustaceans, including copepods (copepodite stage) and amphipods. The rostral tips of upper and lower beaks began to protrude anteriorly at around 3–4 mm ML, and the smallest paralarva with identifiable prey in its digestive tract was 4.2 mm ML, which suggests that the paralarvae can masticate prey soon after the beaks protrude. The proboscis separated into two tentacles at 9.3–13.2 mm ML, but the newly formed tentacles were weakly developed even in the largest specimen, suggesting that tentacles do not operate functionally and that the arms are used to capture prey.


Beak ontogeny Feeding Neon flying squid Ommastrephes bartramii Paralarvae Proboscis ontogeny 



We are grateful to J.R. Bower for critically reading the manuscript and for valuable comments. We thank the captain and crews of R/V Shunyo-Maru for help with sampling during cruises. We also wish to thank H. Miyata and K. Nonaka for their help in sample collection, and M. Senaga for her laboratory assistance. Thanks are also due to N. Suzuki for his technical assistance and helpful discussion on DNA analysis. We are also grateful to M. Nakamachi for providing information on microorganisms.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhisa Uchikawa
    • 1
  • Mitsuo Sakai
    • 2
  • Toshie Wakabayashi
    • 2
  • Taro Ichii
    • 2
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Fisheries EngineeringKamisuJapan
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Far Seas FisheriesYokohamaJapan

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