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Dosidicus Steenstrup 1857

Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny 1835)

Jumbo squid

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
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Containing group: Ommastrephinae

Introduction

D. gigas is the largest of the ommastrephids reaching a weight of approximately 50kg and a mantle length of 1.2 m (Nigmatullin et al., 2001). It is known only from the Eastern Pacific.
Watch a video of D. gigas off California

Brief diagnosis: 

An ommastrephid ...

Characteristics

  1. Arms
    1. Arm tips attenuate, becoming whip-like in subadults; arms I with 60 to >200 pairs of suckers. Other members of the subfamily have less than 35 pairs (Wormuth, 1976).
    2. Trabeculae of dorsal protective membranes on arms project well beyond membrane.
    3. Ventral protective membrane of arms III narrow, not greater than arm width.
    4. Hecto - Medial pores variable, perhaps depending on stage of hectocotylus development; pores may be last structures to develop (Wormuth, 1975).
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      Figure. Dorsal view of the tip of the hectocotylus of D. gigas. Drawing from Roeleveld (1988).

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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Oral view of the base of arm II of D. gigas. Drawing from Pfeffer (1912).

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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Oral of portions of the whip-like tip of arm II of D. gigas. Left - distal tip. Middle - Middle part. Right - Area where proximal arm grades into whip-like portion. Drawings from Pfeffer (1912).

  2. Tentacles
    1. Largest club suckers with small pointed teeth and one large pointed tooth in each quadrant.
    2. Club with 49-58 rows of suckers. Other members of the subfamily have 40 or fewer rows (Wormuth, 1976).
    3. Carpal locking apparatus with smooth-ringed locking suckers extending further proximally on tentacle than normal toothed suckers (Wormuth, 1976).

  3. Head
    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.
    2. Funnel groove with foveola and side pockets.
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      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Anterior funnel groove of D. gigas, 118 cm ML.Drawing from Berry (1912).

  4. Funnel
    1. Mantle component of the locking-apparatus with anterior bifurcation. A full description of the funnel/mantle locking apparatus can be seen here.
    2. Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Funnel/mantle locking apparatus of D. gigas. Photographs by R. Young.

  5. Photophores
    1. Small subcutaneous photophores on ventral surfaces of mantle, head and arms III-IV (Wormuth, 1976).
    2. Single ocular and two intestinal photophores present in juveniles between 12-15 and 100-140 mm ML (Nigmatullin et al., 2001).

Life History

Hatchlings are 1.1 mm ML and lack photophores. Life span is about one year based on the assumption that statolith increments are daily and this is supported by cohort analysis using length-frequency distributions although the largest specimens may exceed a year. A 770 mm ML male had 352 increments and a 860 mm ML female had 338 increments. Paralarvae and juveniles grow 5-8% in ML per day reaching 100-110 mm ML in 45-55 days. (Nigmatullin et al., 2001). Off Peru, Argüelles et al (2001), using statolith increments found the maximum age found was 354 days for a 855 mm ML male and 344 days for a 965 mm female.

Nigmatullin et al. (2001) suggest that the population consists of three groups based on size: 1) Small - males become mature at 130-260 mm ML and females at 140-340 mm ML; 2) Medium - males become mature at 240-420 mm ML and females at 280-600 mm ML; 3) Large - males become mature at 400-500 mm ML and females between 550-600 and 1000-1200 mm ML. The Small group is found predominately in and near the equatorial area, the Medium group is found throughout the whole range except at extremely high latitudes, and the Large group is found the the northern and southern peripheral regions. Off Peru, Argüelles et al (2001) found two size groups, small (<490 mm ML) and large (>520 mm ML).

Distribution

Eastern Pacific Ocean from 26°S to mid-Baja, California with occasional north and south expansions. Presently from about 60°N to 47°S.
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Figure. Distribution map of D. gigas. Red - Common historical distribution. Purple - Recent expansion. Red , purple is the total present distribution. Expansion to the south appears to have been more frequent in the past than to the north. Historical data mostly from Wormuth (1976). 

References

J. Arg?elles, J., P.G. Rodhouse, P. Villegas, G. Castillo. 2001. Age, growth and population structure of the jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas in Peruvian waters. Fisheries Research 54: 51-61.

Nigmatullin, Ch.M. , K.N. Nesis and A.I. Arkhipkin. 2001. A review of the biology of the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae). Fisheries Research 54: 9-19.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Dosidicus gigas
Reference Pfeffer, G. 1912. Die Cephalopoden der Plankton-Expedition. Ergebniss der Plankton-Expedition der Humboldt-Stiftung. 2: 1-815.
Sex Male
View Dorsal
Size 548 mm ML
About This Page

Richard E. Young
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA


National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C. , USA

Page: Tree of Life Dosidicus Steenstrup 1857. Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny 1835). Jumbo squid. Authored by Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Michael Vecchione. 2009. Dosidicus Steenstrup 1857. Dosidicus gigas (Orbigny 1835). Jumbo squid. Version 29 December 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Dosidicus_gigas/19945/2009.12.29 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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