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Squid mating habits

Frank O

Mar 11, 2005
Hi all, I just ran across this forum by googling, and it looks like a great place to learn. I have a basic question for starters that I hope isn't too much of a no-brainer.

I'm a scuba and skin diver who sees squid of various types now and then. Last spring, while on a trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I spent a while photographing Caribbean reef squid:


Then, within the past couple of weeks, some diver friends and I observed great numbers of common or market squid mating and depositing eggs in the Redondo Submarine Canyon here in Southern California. Unfortunately the visibility was extremely poor the night we dived, so my pictures weren't great:


Anyway, here's my question. I seem to recall from my St. John trip that someone told me that Caribbean reef squid usually establish monogamous relationships, with a "nest" that they tend to stick around. On the other hand, mating for the market squid was clearly a major group frenzy activity (shortly after which I gather they all die).

Are these characterizations correct? I find it interesting that mating patterns are so different for two species that I imagine probably aren't all that far apart taxonomically. Is there any good reading at the general-audience level on squid natural history? Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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