Egg Masses of Flying Squids (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae)

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Egg Masses of Flying Squids (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae)

Dharmamony Vijai 2016 (subscription BioOne)
ABSTRACT
Ommastrephid squids have a pelagic lifestyle, with reproductive behavior that is characterized by the extrusion of fragile, neutrally buoyant egg masses, the release of paralarvae into the surface plankton, and the use of large-scale current patterns for larval transport, leading to the assisted migration of populations. Although the exact process of egg mass formation is unknown, the most accepted hypothesis suggests that, at spawning, eggs are first coated with oviducal gland secretion and released with nidamental gland secretions. Subsequently, the eggs mix with broken spermatophores or spermatangia for fertilization. The fertilized eggs are then extruded into the seawater to form a globular mass. These neutrally buoyant gelatinous egg masses are thought to maintain their location in the water column by floating at the interface between water layers of slightly different densities (above the pycnocline). The embryos develop within a favorable temperature range. Once hatched, the paralarvae leave the egg mass and swim to the surface. This review assimilates and assesses all available literature on the egg masses of ommastrephid squids. The data presented here clearly show how fragmentary our knowledge is about this important reproductive stage. Thus, increased efforts are required to develop observation and sampling techniques in the wild to obtain more direct evidence about reproduction in squids.
 

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