Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

Teuthowenia pellucida is a rather small squid that reaches a maximum size of about 200 mm ML. It occurs only in the southern hemisphere. Its systematics, biogeography and various aspects of its biology have been treated in detail by Voss (1985).

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Comprehensive Description

Characteristics

  1. Mantle
    1. Multipoint tubercle (2-4 points, occasionally 1-5 points) at each funnel-mantle fusion.

      Figure. Ventral view of tubercles at the funnel-mantle fusion of T. pellucida, subadult female, 140 mm GL. Drawing from Voss, 1985.

  2. Arms
    1. Arms I of males with 2-3 series of suckers on modified tips.
    2. Arms II of males with 3-4 series of suckers on modified tips.

      Figure. Oral view of the entire arm II of a mature male of T. pellucida, 201 mm GL, with the distal third and proximal sixth modified. Drawing from Voss, 1985

    3. Arms I and II of males with 11-18 normal suckers in midportion of arm, proximal to modified ends but distal to modified basal suckers.
    4. Diameter of largest arm III suckers 2.5 times basal suckers (about 2.0-2.2% of GL in diameter).
  3. Tentacles
    1. Largest club suckers with 26-32 teeth.

      Figure. Largest sucker from manus of club of T. pellucida, female, 143 mm GL. Drawing from Voss, 1985.

Comments

More details of the description of T. pellucida can be found here.

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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a circum-global distribution in the southern hemisphere in the region of the subtropical convergence (~40 ºS) (Young and Mangold 2006).



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Vertical distribution

Immature squid have been taken mostly in the upper 900 m of the water column while mature squid have been taken from depths of 1600 - 2400 m (Voss, 1985).

Geographical distribution

T. pellucida is found in a narrow circumglobal band in the region of the Southern Subtropical convergence about 40° S. lat.; this area is thought to be a distinct zoogeographical region (Voss, 1985).

Geographical distribution map modified from Voss, 1985.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species undergoes diel vertical migration and downward ontogenetic vertical migration. Paralarvae occur from the surface to ~600 m, juveniles and subadults are taken between ~700 and 800 m in the day and upper 300 m at night (Voss et al. 1992). Larger individuals mature at deeper depths from ~1,500 to 2,400 m (Voss et al. 1992). At maturity, the females' musculature becomes flaccid, they swell with mature eggs, light organs develop on their arm tips and glandular organs develop along the midline of their dorsal mantle surface (Young and Mangold 2006). The function of the glands is unknown, but these organs may release pheromones that attract males; similarly the light organs on the arm tips may serve a similar function (Young and Mangold 2006). As males mature, the modified arm tips of the first and second arm pairs elongate, the basal arm suckers change and the arms become robust (Young and Mangold 2006). The ovaries of mature females have between 6,000 and 8,000 oocytes and the length of a mature oocyte was 2.2 mm (Young and Mangold 2006).

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 31 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 30 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2.5 - 2400
  Temperature range (°C): 2.164 - 17.490
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.608 - 38.553
  Salinity (PPS): 34.401 - 35.354
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.240 - 5.708
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.272 - 2.832
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.632 - 117.845

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2.5 - 2400

Temperature range (°C): 2.164 - 17.490

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.608 - 38.553

Salinity (PPS): 34.401 - 35.354

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.240 - 5.708

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.272 - 2.832

Silicate (umol/l): 1.632 - 117.845
 
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

Growth stages of T. pellucida.

Figure. A - 7 mm ML. B - 10 mm ML. C - 27 mm ML. D - 57 mm ML. E - 85 mm GL. F - Tentacle of 10 mm ML squid. Note that the club and stalk suckers are separated where a slight decrease in sucker size occurs. Superficially the tentacle appears to be an elongate club. This is an important feature in distinguishing Teuthowenia paralarvae from those of other cranchiid genera.

Mature females of T. pellucida (from Voss, 1995). Females mature between about 150 and 190 mm ML. At maturity the female undergoes marked morphological changes. The musculature becomes flaccid, the body is distended with mature eggs, photophores develop on the arm tips and glandular organs develop in the dorsal midline.The largest female measured by Voss was 201 mm ML. Mature females have nearly spherical eggs of 2.2 mm diameter. A single female carries about 6,000 - 8,000 eggs.

Figure. View of dorsal mantle of T. pellucida showing glandular organs on midline, mature female, 201 mm GL. Drawing modified from Voss, 1985.

The series of small, glandular organs lies dorsal to the gladius at the anterior end of the mantle. The chambers of each organ open to the exterior via a hollow papilla. The function of these organs is unknown although Voss suggests that they secrete pheromones to attract males. Nearby spermatangia are commonly found embedded in the mantle tissue. This suggests another possible function for these organs: they may be seminal vesicles that store sperm derived from the spermatangia.

Mature females commonly have suckers encysted within tissues in the mantle cavity. Voss suggests that the suckers are lost from arms inserted into the mantle cavity by the male during mating behavior since the dentition of the two is identical. The photophores on the tips of arms IV (and probably the other arms but none of these have been seen intact) may function to attract males. Voss found pieces of body parts of T. pellucida in the stomachs of two mature females but refrained from concluding that cannabalism occurred during mating. The muscular deterioration, the near-absence of developing oocytes in mature females and possible cannabalism during mating suggests that the females are semelparous.

Males mature near 140 mm ML. Mature males have a long penis that extends well beyond the opening to the mantle cavity. At maturity the modified tips of arms I and II elongate. The finely-toothed suckers from these tips are commonly missing, presumably lost within the mantle cavity of some female. Also, at maturity the basal arm suckers become modified and the arms become more robust.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Teuthowenia pellucida

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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

Justification
Teuthowenia pellucida is an oceanic species which has a wide geographic distribution and inhabits deep-water, making it less susceptible to human impact. It is also not targeted by fisheries and is unlikely to be in the future. It has therefore been assessed as Least Concern. However, more research is still needed on its ecology and biology.
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Population

Population
Its population size is unknown.

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, specifically on the distribution, population abundance and ecology of this species.
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Wikipedia

Googly-eyed Glass Squid

The googly-eyed glass squid (Teuthowenia pellucida) is a rare deep-sea glass squid whose habitat ranges throughout the oceans of the southern hemisphere.[1]

Contents

Characteristics

The googly-eyed glass squid is a blue, transparent organism with a body size of approximately 200 mm (7.9 in.) and notably large eyes. Mantle thickness is only a few millimeters. Females are slightly larger than males. The squid has eight short tentacles and a slightly longer pair at the end of its rather swollen body. The only visible internal organ is the digestive gland, similar to the liver of a chordate. As a defense, the squid is able to engorge itself with surrounding water to dramatically increase in size, appearing more intimidating. The squid is also able to escape predators using jet propulsion.

Habitat

Googly-eyed glass squid live consistently along the circumglobal 40° southern parallel, in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. Immature googly-eyed glass squid are usually found at depths of around 900 m (2,953 ft). Mature squid exist at depths of between 1,600 and 2,400 m (5,249-7,874 ft).

Growth and development

Eggs are laid in clusters attached to rocks and plants on the ocean floor. Newly hatched squid develop rapidly into paralarvae. Female squid mature between 150 and 190 mm; males mature at 140 mm. Pregnant females carry between 6,000 and 8,000 eggs with diameters of 2.2 mm. These eggs are often visible through the squid's thin mantle.

Bioluminescence

The cells of a googly-eyed glass squid's eyes and tentacles form small, bioluminescent organs called photophores. These organs release light, making the organism distinguishable among the darkness of the bathyal zone. The use of bioluminescence requires energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

In popular culture

The googly-eyed glass squid was mentioned in Clair Nouvian's The Deep.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Tree of Life Web Project: Teuthowenia pellucida
  2. ^ Nouvian, Clair. The Deep: Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss
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