Does nidamental jelly pollute the gills?

Jul 22, 2004
Hello again :biggrin2:

I read about egg-laying in cuttlefish Sepia officinalis...
Sepia eggs are covered with a primary envelope by the oviductal glands -> eggs are released into the mantle cavity -> they get a second envelope by the nidamental + accessory nidamental gland (nidamental jelly with bacterias) and leave the mantle through the funnel. The nidamental jelly is soft at the beginning and later polimerizes after contact with seawater...

My question is: If the nidamental jelly is released into the mantle cavity to surround the eggs, how do females keep their gills clean? I would expect the nidamental jelly to pollute the branchial filaments and thus disturbing ventilation... :?

Does anybody know how females deal with that or am I missing something and thinking in a wrong direction?

Thankx and best regards,
TK, if only I had the answer to this question!! Check out the paper on Nototodarus egg masses (online somewhere) and ponder how on Earth a 2 metre in diameter egg mass can be released by a 0.5 metre-long squid. That's a fantastic amount of jelly to be produced by the nidamental glands (although it will expand as it absorbs water).

Males of a number of genera of squid (Pholidoteuthis, Moroteuthis, Histioteuthis, Taningia, Octopoteuthis [that I have seen for myself]) deposit the spermatophores directly into (and through) the female's mantle, often by the gills. Perhaps the gills do clog with this jelly, with the chemicals within it causing the heads of the spermatophores to rupture, discharge the sperm encapsulated within them, and subsequently fertilise the individual eggs (also bound in the jelly). I would imagine, although I cannot be sure, that the (physically and genetically) exhausted female squid die shortly after release of the egg mass, so perhaps having the gills clogged by this jelly isn't a major (with death imminent anyway).

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