Architeuthis Distribution (& Mystery Squid 2)


TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
I was wondering about the distribution patterns of Architeuthis. It seems to me, from my very limited knowledge, that most of the full grown specimens of Architeuthis are found in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific at latitudes that are roughly equivalent. I think that specimens are practically never found in the tropics. This ‘Mystery Squid 2’, if it does turn out to be Architeuthis (will we ever know?) seems to be somewhat out of place.

I would argue that perhaps it is not out of place. Architeuthis specimens from the north and south hemispheres seem to show few, if any, physical differences. Could it be inferred from that that the two populations are one and the same, or that some breeding takes place in tropical latitudes? If the two populations in the northern and southern hemispheres do not intermix, or Architeuthis does not migrate across the equator then surely the two populations would have evolved substantial differences in their morphologies and we would have clearly defined species?

I was also led to believe that geographical isolation leads to speciation, therefore differences should be apparent in two separate breeding stocks. Yet many researchers seem to indicate that there is probably only one species of Architeuthis. Could this be the result of a single stock with a global migratory pattern? If so, we would expect to find the occasional carcass in tropical waters (such as Mystery Squid 2). Perhaps we do not, not because the specimens are not there, but due to the abundance of marine predators in the warmer tropical waters quickly disposing of carcasses.

Good ramble though Phil. I've given this some thought myself. There are records of Architeuthis from the tropics - one I was looking at a couple of days ago I recall from the tropical Atlantic (there are papers distributed throughout the office right now, in my shambolic organised chaos; I'll track the reference down and post separately).

Anything is possible!
i read through Search for the Giant Squid about a week ago, in the back it has a table of"authenticated giant squid sightings and strandings" and say only a couple of tropical locales.... lets see: unknown size St. Paul Island, Indian Ocean (thats fairly tropical right?), 1875; Unknown size north of the bahamas, 1898; 2' mantle length, 9' overall, gulf of mexico, 1950-55 (i guess date is uncertain); 36" mantle length, florida keys, 1952; 47' bahamas, 1958; unknown size, eat of lake worth, fla 1969; unknown size, puerto rico 1970; 6.5" mantle length (young?) fort lauderdale, fla 1978; the 1952, 1969 and 1970 according to the footnote were included in a "complete list of 'architeuthids [whole or partial] catatlogued in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS) Marine Invertebrate Museum" but do not appear in any published literature according to ellis....

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