Architeuthis (Giant Squid) reproduction

Architeuthis (Giant Squid) reproduction, with notes on basic anatomy and behavior

By Dr. Steve O'Shea

Last updated: 03/28/03

Note: Steve welcomes discussion in the Physiology & Biology forum.

Architeuthis (Fig. 1, left) is basically an eating and 65413breeding machine. A look inside the cut-open mantle (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3, right) revels a large stomach, and both spiral and digestive (or stomach) caeca, in addition to a substantial investment in the reproductive tissues of ovary, oviducts and oviducal and nidamental glands. There's not a lot else in there.

Submature to mature male and femaleArchiteuthis are most-often trawled in New Zealand waters off Banks Peninsula, East Coast South Island during the austral summer, and off Hokitika Canyon, West Coast South Island during the austral winter. As Architeuthis has not been trawled outside of these two time periods (over the last decade), and juveniles have never been trawled here, it is unlikely that it is a full-time resident of New Zealand waters; it probably spends most of its post-larval life outside of New Zealand waters. To the contrary, we have ontogenetic series of specimens of many other fast-swimming oceanic and deep-sea squid species found in New Zealand waters, indicating that they do reside in New Zealand waters throughout their entire life cycle (suggesting that the absence of juvenile Architeuthis from collections is no artefact of collection effort or net...
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About the Author
Steve O'Shea
Steve is an expert in the systematics and biogeography of cephalopods, and joined the staff in June 2002. He can be seen on the Discovery Channel documentary, Chasing Giants: On the Trail of the Giant Squid. For more information, see his Autobiography and Select Bibliography (2003). Dr. O'Shea lives in New Zealand.


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