Distribution of ommastrephid paralarvae in the eastern tropical Pacific


Staaf, Danna J., Jessica V. Redfern, William F. Gilly, William Watson, and Lisa T. Ballance
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Jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) and purpleback squid (Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis) (Teuthida: Ommastrephidae) are thought to spawn in the eastern tropical Pacific. We used 10 years of plankton tow and oceanographic data collected in this region to examine the reproductive habits of these 2 ecologically important squid. Paralarvae of jumbo squid and purpleback squid were found in 781 of 1438 plankton samples from surface and oblique tows conducted by the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) in the eastern tropical Pacific over the 8-year period of 1998–2006. Paralarvae were far more abundant in surface tows (maximum: 1588 individuals) than in oblique tows (maximum: 64 individuals). A generalized linear model analysis revealed sea-surface temperature as the strongest environmental predictor of paralarval presence in both surface and oblique tows; the likelihood of paralarval presence increases with increasing temperature. We used molecular techniques to identify paralarvae from 37 oblique tows to species level and found that the purpleback squid was more abundant than the jumbo squid (81 versus 16 individuals).