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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Swimming behaviors during diel vertical migration in veined squid Loligo forbesii

Seth F. Cones*, Ding Zhang, K. Alex Shorter, Kakani Katija, David A. Mann, Frants H. Jensen, Jorge Fontes, Pedro Afonso, T. Aran Mooney

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Diel vertical migrations (DVMs) are a vital behavior for many pelagic marine fauna. Locomotory tactics that animals use during DVM define the metabolic costs of migrations and influence the risk of detection and capture by predators, yet, for squids, there is little understanding of the fine-scale movements and potential variability during these migrations. Vertical migratory behaviors of five squid (Loligo forbesii) were investigated with biologging tags (ITags) off the Azores Islands (mid-north Atlantic). Diel movements ranged from 400 to 5 m and were aligned with sunset and sunrise. During ascent periods, two squid exhibited cyclic climb-and-glide movements using primarily jet propulsion, while three squid ascended more continuously and at a lower vertical speed using mostly a finning gait. Descents for all five squid were consistently more rapid and direct. While all squid swam in both arms-first (AF) and mantle-first (MF) directions during DVM, MF swimming was more common during upward movements, particularly at vertical speeds greater than 25 cm s-1. The in situ variability of animal posture, swim direction, and gait use revealed behavioral flexibility interpreted as energy conservation, prey capture, and predator avoidance.