Patterns of investment in reproductive and somatic tissues in the loliginid squid Loligo forbesii and Loligo vulgaris in Iberian and Azorean waters

Jennifer M. Smith, Graham J. Pierce, Alain F. Zuur, Helen Martins, M. Clara Martins, Filipe Porteiro, Francisco Rocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The veined squid, Loligo forbesii, is found throughout the northeast Atlantic, including the waters off the Iberian Peninsula, and is a socio-economically important cephalopod species, sustaining several small-scale commercial and local artisanal fisheries. This study uses Iberian and Azorean trawl survey and fishery landings data from 1990 to 1992 and employs additive modelling to examine the relationships amongst somatic growth, season and gonad growth, in an attempt to determine the relative importance of intrinsic (e.g. nutritional state and body size) and extrinsic (temperature and daylight) factors which contribute to maturation in L. forbesii. We compare the results with those from a comparative analysis of contemporaneous data on Loligo vulgaris from the Iberian coast, and with a re-analysis of previously published results for L. forbesii in Scottish waters. Reproductive organ weight in both sexes of L. forbesii from all ports shows seasonal patterns with a fall/winter peak in maturation, as is expected with the animals' year-long life cycle. Two maturity peaks (spring and winter) were found for both Azores L. forbesii males and females, possibly evidence of two breeding cohorts, with males maturing approximately 1 month earlier than females in both seasons. For L. vulgaris, three annual peaks in reproductive weight were identified. With the exception of L. forbesii males from Scottish waters, in all study animals, the partial effect of mantle length and mantle weight on reproductive weight is positive up to large body sizes. The relationship between nutritional status and reproductive weight is also generally positive. Geographic variation in the relationships, as seen between Scottish males and samples from the other study areas, is hypothesised to be largely attributable to local differences in environmental conditions (productivity, food availability, temperature, upwelling), although differences between L. forbesii from the Azores, Scotland and mainland Europe may also relate to previously documented genetic differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-221
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Early online date5 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Squid
  • Life history
  • Maturation
  • Reproductive investment
  • Somatic growth
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Northeast Atlantic-Ocean
  • Scottish Waters
  • Environmental-Influences
  • Cephalopod Paralarvae
  • Geographic-variation
  • Fished population
  • Common Octopus
  • Photololigo SP
  • Life-history
  • South-Africa


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