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Are bigger calamary Sepioteuthis australis hatchlings more likely to survive? A study based on statolith dimensions


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Steer, MA, Pecl, GT and Moltschaniwskyj, NA 2003 , 'Are bigger calamary Sepioteuthis australis hatchlings more likely to survive? A study based on statolith dimensions' , Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 261 , pp. 175-182 .

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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


To determine whether any size-selective processes were operating throughout the life
history of squid, this study set out to ascertain whether bigger hatchlings are more likely to survive to
adulthood. This was achieved by comparing natal statolith dimensions between recently hatched
(<13 h old) and successfully recruited adult Sepioteuthis australis. The squid statolith (analogous to
the teleost otolith) retains a check associated with hatching, and the natal radius (NR) at hatching had
a strong linear relationship to dorsal mantle length (ML). Hatchlings were collected using emergent
traps from October 2001 to February 2002 on natural spawning grounds located on the east coast of
Tasmania. Hatchling size was extremely variable ranging from 4.3 to 7.3 mm (ML), with significantly
larger squids hatching out in November and the smallest in February. From February to August,
adults were collected from the same bay and aged using validated daily rings in the statolith and
those adults estimated to have been born between October and February were included in the
analysis. In all but 1 mo, a significant difference between the NR size distributions of the hatchlings
and adults was detected due to low numbers of adults with small NRs. This indicated that smaller
hatchlings were less likely to recruit, suggesting that there is an element of size-mediated mortality
operating on populations of S. australis.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Steer, MA and Pecl, GT and Moltschaniwskyj, NA
Keywords: Squid · Hatchling · Statolith · Hatch-check · Natal-ring · Size-selection
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
ISSN: Print 0171-8630 Online 1616-1599
Additional Information:

© Inter-Research 2003

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