Evolutionary Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 221–228 | Cite as

Female Pygmy Squid Cryptically Favour Small Males and Fast Copulation as Observed by Removal of Spermatangia

  • Noriyosi SatoEmail author
  • Takashi Kasugai
  • Hiroyuki Munehara
Research Article


Females can express mate (or fertilisation) preferences after copulation. In the Japanese pygmy squid, Idiosepius paradoxus, in which males do not show any conspicuous pre-copulatory displays, the females remove the spermatangia attached to their bodies after copulation. In this study, we observed pre- and post-copulatory behaviours and analysed which variables associated with copulation were correlated with spermatangia removal. When females mated with larger males or copulation lasted longer female squid elongated their buccal mass after copulation and removed more spermatangia. We also investigated the effects of spermatangia removal on the retained spermatangia to predict whether cryptic female choice (CFC) influenced fertilisation success. Spermatangia removal by females had a stronger effect on the number of spermatangia retained than did the number of spermatangia ejaculated by males. These results suggest that spermatangia removal after copulation by buccal mass elongation works as a CFC in Japanese pygmy squid, and females cryptically favoured small males and fast copulation.


Cryptic female choice Post-copulatory sexual selection Mate choice Spermataniga removal Cephalopod Idiosepius paradoxus 



We thank T. Takegaki for his critical comments on the manuscript and F. Takeshita for his advice on the statistics and R graphics. We also thank two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. This research was supported financially by the Mikimoto Fund for Marine Ecology and Research Fellowships of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists (to NS).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noriyosi Sato
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Takashi Kasugai
    • 3
  • Hiroyuki Munehara
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental StudiesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  2. 2.Division of Biosphere Science, Graduate School of Environmental ScienceHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan
  3. 3.Port of Nagoya Public AquariumAichiJapan
  4. 4.Usujiri Fisheries Station, Field Science Centre for Northern BiosphereHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan

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