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Sepioloidea - something new

Steve O'Shea

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Steve O'Shea said:
... how does $*** sound for a couple of clusters of Sepioloidea 'pacifica' eggs? If the RV Munida does any deep-sea'ish dredging this summer and collects clumps of eggs of the very large new species of Sepioloidea that occurs down there I'll give you another $***. I just need them overnight couriered to Auckland, and will give you co-authorship on the developmental/embryological papers that result from it (culture first and foremost, embryology secondarily).

What say yee Jean?
Ta
O
Splitting thread to start a new one. Jean managed to secure some of these eggs for us through a jolly good lad down Otago called Peter Bell; they arrived yesterday. I'll post pics of the eggs shortly (have yet to take them).

Thanks a million Jean and Peter!!
 

Steve O'Shea

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And here we have them. The eggs are quite tiny, individually cemented to the underside of rock slabs (naturally), but here plonked into a tank underside up (no predators to concern ourselves with in this tank).

The tops of the slabs are covered in coralline algae (paint), the undersides in bryozoans and serpulid polychaete tubes, so obviously they have been collected at quite shallow depth in quite a rough area, not subject to much sediment deposition (I haven't precise details yet).

In the lower pic it looks like two separate squid have deposited these egg capsules (one cluster is quite dirty coloured, the other, more recently deposited, white).

We're heading off for a dive tomorrow to see if we can find eggs in similar habitats up here (quite some distance from where these eggs were collected, Otago).
 

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cthulhu77

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AWESOME !!!! More pics as progress continues, please!!!
can't wait till the little buggers hatch!
 

Steve O'Shea

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I don't have a scanner handy, sorry, so have just photographed, cut, paste and captioned this composite image.

There are three species in the genus Sepioloidea in New Zealand waters; two of them are new species. Two species occur in coastal waters, and one on the continental shelf and slope (this a large-bodied species, whereas the two coastal species are quite small).

To differentiate the two coastal species you need only look at the tentacle club; there are major differences in the number and relative sizes of the club suckers (in S. pacifica there are some quite large suckers, in the new species they are all quite minute). I don't know what species we have here (yet) - we'll have to keep them going. The differences in tentacle-club sucker size probably (I stress) indicate quite a difference in diet between the two species. We'll soon find out. I've kept the 'new species' alive for 75 days before (caught as adults), then released them (and kicked myself ever since) - that was about 6 years ago now. However, I've never tried rearing the young, and am looking forward to the challenge.

Sorry for the quality of the following image. We'll get something better online one of these days (when I finally get around to completing the manuscript)
1) Sepioloidea pacifica
2) Sepioloidea n.sp.
3) S. pacifica tentacle club
4) S. n.sp. tentacle club
5) S. n.sp., lateral view of hectocotylus
6) S. pacifica, hectocotylus
7) S. n.sp. hectocotylus
 

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