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Ram's Horn Squid

Spirula spirula (Linnaeus 1758)

Behavior

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Although specific means of communication are relatively unknown for this species, its light-emitting organ may be a key source of communication between these animals. At least during mating, some physical contact and communication must occur between males and females, as the male must inseminate the female. In addition to this, S. spirula may employ chemical signalling.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: photic/bioluminescent

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Conservation Status

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Spirula spirula is not listed under any of the databases for endangered species.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Life Cycle

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Individuals measuring about 2 mm hatch from fertilized eggs. The young are independent, and no pelagic eggs have ever been identified. It is theorized that females lay eggs at the benthic layer. Capture of young hatchlings that closely resemble adult forms at this lower layer lends support to this idea.

Sexes, male and female, are spearate. The process for sex determination in Spirula has not been determined.

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Benefits

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There are no known adverse effects of S. spirula on humans.

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Benefits

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This species is a common food source for swordfish (Xiphias gladius), so that it impacts swordfish populations and therefore the commercial swordfish market.

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Associations

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Spirula spirula is a common food source for swordfish, and may also provide nourishment for marine animals such as whales and other carnivores.

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Trophic Strategy

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In general, the specific feeding habits of S. spirula resemble that of the family Sepulidae. Spirula spirula hunts nocturnally, probably consuming small fish and crustaceans. The feeding apparatus of S. spirula consists of a beaked mouth containing a radula, towards which food is propelled by the tentacles.

Members of the Sepulidae typically consume 30 to 60% of their body weight per day, so it can be assumed that the general food intake for S. spirula, while perhaps not being quite as high, is a sizeable amount.

Animal Foods: fish; mollusks; aquatic crustaceans; echinoderms; cnidarians; other marine invertebrates

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Eats non-insect arthropods, Molluscivore , Eats other marine invertebrates)

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Distribution

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The distribution of Spirula spirula is poorly known. These mollusks are generally found in tropical waters, including the waters off the coasts of Indonesia, New Zealand, south Africa, northwestern Africa, the Canary Islands, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Nesis (1987) described this species as "tropical Atlantic and Indo-West Pacific mesopelagic nerito-oceanic."

Biogeographic Regions: indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Habitat

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Spirula spirula is most often found on continental shelves at depths ranging between 500 and 1000 m during the day. Because of their hunting patterns, these cephalopods are found closer to the surface at night, at depths between 100 and 300 m.

Range depth: 100 to 1000 m.

Average depth: 500 m.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: pelagic

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Life Expectancy

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Average life span for S. spirula is 1 to 1.5 years; very few specimens are captured and captivity life span is unknown.

Range lifespan
Status: wild:
1.5 (high) years.

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Morphology

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Members of the genus Spirula are decapods characterized by suckered appendages, including 8 arms and 2 longer tentacles. They are somewhat squid-like in appearance, and young individuals can completely withdraw the head and all extremities into the mantle. Adults measure 30 to 45 mm in length, and can only retract the cephalic area halfway into the mantle.

The skin is reddish-brown and smooth. Members of the genus Spirula have a large photophore (bioluminescent light organ) at the posterior end of the mantle which is surrounded by two small, round fins. The photophore can remain illuminated for several hours.

The shell of S. spirula in entirely enclosed in the mantle. It is divided into approximately 25 to 37 chambers connected by a siphuncle. This shell serves as a hydrostatic system, allowing and animal to control its buoyancy. The shell is located in the posterior half of the mantle, and its buoyancy pattern results in a characteristic "head down" positioning often observed in Spirula.

Range length: 30 to 45 mm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; sexes shaped differently

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Associations

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Known predators for S. spirula include great-winged petrels, splendid alfoniso fish, and swordfish. Whales may also be one of the main predators of cephalopods, including S. spirula.

In other cephalopods, predator evasion mechanisms include photophores and bioluminescence, which could account for the presence of the bioluminescent organ in S. spirula. However, details of how this may be used are not available.

Known Predators:

  • Great-winged petrel
  • splendid alfoniso Bleryx splendens
  • swordfish Xiphias gladius

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

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bibliographic citation
Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
editor
Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Reproduction

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Females are slightly larger than males, and as of yet no courtship rituals been identified in ram's horn squids. The breeding season for this species is unknown. The social structure in Spirula is also unknown.

Reproduction in Spirula is similar to reproduction in most cephalopods, where a modified tentacle on the male (the hectocotylus) is used to implant a sperm sac into the seminal receptacle in buccal membrane of the female's mantle during mating. The time until hatching is unknown for Spirula.

The breeding patterns in S. spirula are unknown.

Breeding interval: The breeding interval is unknown.

Breeding season: The breeding season has not been identified.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous

Females provide eggs with the nutrients needed to reach hatching successfully. Newly hatched offspring are independent. Any other details on the parental behavior of this species are lacking in the literature.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)

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Whittaker, W. 2006. "Spirula spirula" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Spirula_spirula.html
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Nancy Shefferly, Animal Diversity Web
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Wendy Whittaker, Kalamazoo College
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Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College
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Distribution

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Rothschild (2004) reports that Spirula spirula shells are sometimes found on beaches in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.
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Spirule

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Spirula spirula, Spirula, Spirulidae

La spirule (Spirula spirula) est une espèce de céphalopodes. C'est la seule espèce vivante du genre Spirula, de la famille Spirulidae et de l'ordre Spirulida.

Description et caractéristiques

 src=
Coquille aux verticilles déconnectées.
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Larve.

Ce sont de petits céphalopodes ressemblant à une seiche ou à certains calmars, mais ils ne font pourtant partie d'aucun de ces deux groupes, ayant leur ordre à part. Ils sont caractérisés par une coquille interne enroulée et non soudée, pourvue de chambres réunies par un siphon en position proximale, à la manière de la coquille des nautiles. Leur taille ne dépasse pas 5 cm de long[2]. Cependant des variations morphologiques notables (hauteur de la coquille, nombre de cloisons, enroulement...) pourraient conduire à distinguer plusieurs populations voire espèces à travers le monde[3].

Habitat et répartition

Ce sont des animaux pélagiques, à répartition mondiale dans les mers tropicales et subtropicales (partout où la température à 400 m de fond est supérieure à 10 °C)[2]. Spirula spirula est, entre autres, présente à Madagascar, en Nouvelle-Zélande, en Australie, au Brésil, au Maroc[3].

Ils vivent entre 600 et 700 m de profondeur (parfois plus de 1 750 m[4]), mais remontent parfois jusqu'à moins de 300 m pendant la nuit[2].

La première observation d'une spirule dans son environnement a été publiée en 2020, et montre l'animal nageant tête vers le haut et coquille vers le bas (alors qu'on pensait jusque là que la coquille servait de flotteur)[5].

Voir aussi

Références taxinomiques

Espèce Spirula spirula

Famille Spirulidae

Notes et références

  1. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), www.itis.gov, CC0 https://doi.org/10.5066/F7KH0KBK, consulté le 26 août 2014
  2. a b et c World Register of Marine Species, consulté le 26 août 2014
  3. a et b (en) Pascal Neige et Kerstin Warnke, Just how many species of Spirula are there a morphometric approach, in Tanabe, K., Shigeta, Y., Sasaki, T. & Hirano, H., (eds.), 2010
  4. UICN, consulté le 26 août 2014
  5. (en) Dhugal J. Lindsay, James C. Hunt, Mardi McNeil, Robin J. Beaman & Michael Vecchione, « The First In Situ Observation of the Ram’s Horn Squid Spirula spirula Turns “Common Knowledge” Upside Down », Diversity, vol. 12, no 12,‎ 2020 (DOI ).
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Spirule: Brief Summary

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Spirula spirula, Spirula, Spirulidae

La spirule (Spirula spirula) est une espèce de céphalopodes. C'est la seule espèce vivante du genre Spirula, de la famille Spirulidae et de l'ordre Spirulida.

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Distribution

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circum-(sub)tropical
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van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
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Jacob van der Land [email]
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Jacob van der Land [email]

Distribution

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Westrern Atlantic: Cape Cod to the West Indies
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van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
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Kennedy, Mary [email]
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Kennedy, Mary [email]

Distribution

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Tropical and subtropical oceanic waters worldwide, where the water temperature at 400 m is 10ºC or warmer
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van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
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Elien Dewitte [email]
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Elien Dewitte [email]

Habitat

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oceanic, pelagic
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bibliographic citation
van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
contributor
Jacob van der Land [email]
contributor
Jacob van der Land [email]

Habitat

provided by World Register of Marine Species
This is a mesopelagic species, inhabiting from 600 to 700 m during the day and found in depths less than 300 m at night. Capture of young at depths between 1 000 and 1 750 m suggests that females possibly lay eggs on the bottom of continental slopes
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bibliographic citation
van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
contributor
Elien Dewitte [email]
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Elien Dewitte [email]

Habitat

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Known from seamounts and knolls
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bibliographic citation
van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication. North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) van der Land, J. (ed). (2008). UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO). Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates. Jereb, P.; Roper, C.F.E. (Eds)(2005). An annotated an illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 1: Chambered nautilusses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes 4(1). FAO, Rome. 262p., 9 colour plates.
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[email]
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