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Pholidoteuthis mating

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
One of the squids we examined in Tasmania several months ago was Pholidoteuthis. The species has been referred to as P. boschmai since the 1960's, but we're probably going to change this soon (something that we are working on).

The three images attached are of the hypothetical mating/mounting position, where the smaller of the two, the male, grasps the side of the female. He has an enlarged penis relative to many species of squid, and it is presumed that he uses this organ to implant spermatophores directly through the female's mantle musculature, in a position (internally) close to her stellate ganglion (that branching/radiating mass of nerves you can see in one of the pics). Another of the images shows the spermatophore insertion points/puncture wounds on the external surface of the mantle, in addition to abrasion that is probably caused by the male's beaks rubbing against the female's delicate, papillated/scaled dermis. The third image is of the spermatophores embedded in the female's mantle (when the mantle cavity was cut open).

Kat (aka Tintenfisch) has taken these pics; we're working on this particular species right now, in conjunction with George Jackson (University of Tasmania), and Nancy Voss (University of Miami). It'll be a nice piece of work when it is finished.

In looking at these pics, if you have any suggestions on possible reproductive habit, please sing out.


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