Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

H. heteropsis is similar to its closest relative, H. meleagroteuthis, in the uniform, dense pattern of complex photophores on the head, arms IV and the mantle but lacks tubercules. This species is common off the coast of Southern California (USA) and has been observed from submersibles many times. It is lethargic in response to disturbance by an ROV; movements are slow and deliberate, even when jetting, inking is rarely observed (Hunt, 1966). The geographical distribution is unusual in that two separate populations exist one in the North Pacific and one in the South Pacific (antitropical distribution). It is found in temperate regions on the eastern side of the Pacific. Off southern California it occupies mesopelagic depths during the day and migrates vertically at night, presumably to feed. Maximum recorded size is 132 mm ML (Voss, et al., 1998).

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Comprehensive Description

Nomenclature

The holotype (by subsequent designation) is no longer extant. The single paratype, a female, exists at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco (Sweeney et al., 1988).

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Characteristics

  1. Head
    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.

  2. Tubercles
    1. Absent

Comments

More details of the description can be found here.

Species of the meleagroteuthis-group are distinguished by the following characteristics:

  1. Photophores
    1. In 8-10 series on arm IV base.
    2. Usually 19-22 photophores on right eyelid.
    3. Compound photophores of uniform size, small and densely packed on anterior 3/4 of ventral mantle.

H. heteropsis is easily separated from its closest relative, H. meleagroteuthis, by the absence of tubercles.

The above information is taken from Voss (1969) and Voss, et al. (1998).

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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a disjunct distribution in temperate regions along the west coast of South and North America, occurring in the California Current (24-45 ºN) and the Peru-Chile Current (30-60 ºS) but is absent/rare in tropical, equatorial waters (Young and Vecchione 2000).
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Vertical distribution

These data from a vertical distribution study off Southern California shows that H. heteropsis migrates vertically from over 400 m during the day into the upper 400 m at night (Roper and Young, 1975.).

Figure. Chart of the vertical distribution of H. heteropsis, California waters. Captures were made with open 3-m trawls. Blue color - Night captures. Yellow color - Day captures. Lighter hues - Correction factor to adjust for unequal trawling time at each depth. Chart modified from Roper and Young (1975).

Geographical distribution

Type locality: Eastern North Pacific, off Santa Barbara Island. H. heteropsis is common in the California Current system between 24° and 45° N. It is also common in the Peru-Chile Current system between 30° and 36° S. In tropical waters it is generally replaced by its close relative, H. meleagroteuthis, although a single record (00° 38'S, 89° 29'W) is known from equatorial waters (Voss, et al., 1998).

Figure. Chart of the geographical distribution of H. heteropsis. Modified from Voss et al. (1998).

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is common off Southern California, where it undergoes diel vertical migration from depths of more than 400 m during the day to depths of less than 400 m at night (Young and Vecchione 2000). Only juveniles less than 20 mm mantle length are known from the upper 200 m (Voss et al. 1998). Mature females are unknown (Young and Vecchione 2000). The spermatophores from mature males (54.6-88.5 mm in mantle length) are short in length (1.8-2.8 mm) (Voss et al. 1998).

Sexually mature individuals of the Histioteuthidae family often demonstrate changes in photophore and body morphology, and descend to deeper depths (e.g. to more than 2,000 m in depth; Voss et al. 1998, Young and Vecchione 2007). Mating probably occurs at deep depths, although spawning may occur either at deep depths or in near surface waters depending on species (Voss et al. 1998). They are important in the diets of a variety of marine mammals, seabirds and fish (Voss et al. 1998).

Systems
  • Marine
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mesopelagic
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Depth range based on 10 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 32 - 711
  Temperature range (°C): 5.203 - 12.263
  Nitrate (umol/L): 7.162 - 43.209
  Salinity (PPS): 33.368 - 34.397
  Oxygen (ml/l): 0.343 - 5.636
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.966 - 3.280
  Silicate (umol/l): 9.297 - 95.777

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 32 - 711

Temperature range (°C): 5.203 - 12.263

Nitrate (umol/L): 7.162 - 43.209

Salinity (PPS): 33.368 - 34.397

Oxygen (ml/l): 0.343 - 5.636

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.966 - 3.280

Silicate (umol/l): 9.297 - 95.777
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Life History

Males mature between 54-89 mm ML; size of maturity of females is unknown (Voss et al., 1998). Paralarvae (i.e., pre-photophore stage) have not been described.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Barratt, I. & Allcock, L.

Reviewer/s
Young, R., Vecchione, M. & Böhm, M.

Contributor/s
Duncan, C. & Carrete-Vega, G.

Justification
Histioteuthis heteropsis is an oceanic species which has been assessed as Least Concern, as it has a wide geographic distribution, making it less susceptible to human impact. However, further research is recommended in order to determine the precise distribution, population dynamics, life history and ecology, and potential threat processes affecting this species.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The threats to this species are not known.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Further research is recommended in order to determine the precise distribution, population dynamics, life history and ecology, and potential threat processes affecting this species.
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Wikipedia

Histioteuthis heteropsis

Histioteuthis heteropsis, the Cock-eyed Squid, also known as the Strawberry Squid, is a species of cock-eyed squid. These squid are named for their peculiar set of differently sized eyes, one being small and blue and the other being large and yellowish. It is thought that the large eye is used to spy for food and predators in the down-welling light above the squid, while the smaller eye peers into the darkness below, seeking out bio-luminescent signals.[1]

They are slow and not easily scared, even by submersibles.[2] H. heteropsis was exhibited publicly for the first time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on June 27, 2014[3]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "We have a new visitor from the deep in our Tentacles special exhibition: the cock-eyed squid!". MBA Tumblr. Monterey Bay Aquarium. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Histioteuthis heteropsis". Tree of Life. Treeoflife web project. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "We have a new visitor from the deep in our Tentacles special exhibition: the cock-eyed squid!". MBA Tumblr. Monterey Bay Aquarium. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
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