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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 313:125-133 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/meps313125

Spawning by jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas in San Pedro Mártir Basin, Gulf of California, Mexico

William F. Gilly1,*, Carl A. Elliger1, Cesar A. Salinas2, Susana Camarilla-Coop2, Gastón Bazzino2, Michael Beman3

1Hopkins Marine Station, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA
2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR), La Paz, Baja California Sur 23090, Mexico
3Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

ABSTRACT: Paralarvae of ommastrephid squid in the eastern Pacific Ocean are exceedingly difficult to identify at the species level due to extreme morphological similarities, fragmentary knowledge of early life history and ontogeny, and the co-occurrence of adults of 2 or more species in most areas. We employed molecular genetic methods to identify ommastrephid paralarvae and juveniles captured in the area of the San Pedro Mártir basin in the central Gulf of California. Sequence analysis of a mitochondrial gene, cytochrome c oxidase I, identified all specimens analyzed (3 paralarvae and 11 small juveniles) as Dosidicus gigas and definitively ruled out other candidate species, specifically Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis. Paralarvae of the complete developmental size range were taken (1 to 10 mm mantle length), the smallest being the size expected for D. gigas at hatching. In addition, pairs of coupled adult D. gigas engaged in putative mating behavior were observed. Taken together, these findings indicate that mating, spawning and early development of D. gigas occur in this area.

KEY WORDS: Jumbo squid · Dosidicus gigas · Paralarvae · Juveniles · Cytochrome c oxidase · Mating · Gulf of California

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