Journal Article

Life history of a short-lived squid (<i>Sepioteuthis australis</i>): resource allocation as a function of size, growth, maturation, and hatching season

Gretta T. Pecl and Natalie A. Moltschaniwskyj

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 63, issue 6, pages 995-1004
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Life history of a short-lived squid (Sepioteuthis australis): resource allocation as a function of size, growth, maturation, and hatching season

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  • Environmental Science
  • Marine and Estuarine Biology


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Many cephalopods continue growing while laying multiple egg batches over the adult life, with repro-somatic allocation continuing beyond attainment of reproductive maturity. Many species show extreme individual variation in reproductive investment. Factors driving this variation in adult Sepioteuthis australis were evaluated by examining allocation of energy to somatic and reproductive growth as a function of body shape, growth rate, maturation, and hatching season. Hatching season influence was sex-specific; males hatched in warmer months had greater reproductive investment, faster growth, and better somatic and reproductive condition, whereas females hatched in spring and summer had less reproductive investment. Seasonal impacts on life history resulted in an “alternation of generations”, with slow-growing squid in poor condition and with high levels of reproductive investment producing a generation with completely different life-history characteristics. This suggests that abiotic and biotic conditions that change seasonally could play a large role in determining energy allocated to reproduction. However, this was not driving trade-offs between size and number of offspring. Life-history trade-offs should be detectable as negative correlations between relevant traits. However, in Sepioteuthis australis there was little evidence of trade-offs between reproduction and growth or condition of individuals, suggesting a “live for today” lifestyle.

Keywords: energy allocation; life-history trade-offs; multiple spawning; phenotypic variation; somatic condition

Journal Article.  6498 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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