First record of the glass octopus Vitreledonella richardi (Cephalopoda: Vitreledonellidae) from the Arabian Sea
© The Author(s) 2016
Received: 24 May 2016
Accepted: 3 June 2016
Published: 11 July 2016
Arabian Sea considered as one of the richest region of oceanic cephalopods. On conflicting information related to species diversity is still scare.
This work presents the first report of a paralarvae of glass octopus Vitreledonella richardi from the Arabian Sea. A single specimen was collected during dusk by Isaacs-Kidd midwater trawl net on 28 February 2015. (Horizon of 150 m at 09° 52′ 30″ N; 73° 37′ 22″ E, bottom depth: 2005 m). A description of the specimen is provided.
Record of this rare squid, from Arabian Sea is an addition to the cephalopod fauna of India.
KeywordsVitreledonella richardi Arabian Sea Lower beak Glass octopus
Zooplankton samples were collected at two stations during the research cruise of the F.V.Silver Pompano in February 2015, The Isaacs-Kidd midwater trawl (Model: − IK-02.5 M-A1-00, Open Sea Instrumentation, Canada) was towed horizontally for 30 min at 150 m depth across Deep Scattering Layer (DSL) area. The specimen was collected at 10° 30′ 22″ N 73° 58′ 43″ E.
Oceanographic parameters (sea surface temperature (SST), salinity and pH) were measured with a YSI Multiparameter sonde (Model 650 MDS). The DSL was detected with an Echosounder Garmin-4210. Samples were preserved in 5 % neutral buffered formalin. Sorting and identification were performed in the laboratory. Photographs and measurements were taken with a Nikon stereozoom microscope (SMZ-25). All measurement were done according Roper and Voss (1983) within 0.1 mm. The specimen of V. richardi is housed in the collection of cephalopod in the Marine Biodiversity Museum of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), in Kerala, India (Accession number DE.03.01.02.07).
Hydrographical data from the sampling location in southeastern Arabian Sea
Sea surface temperature (SST)
Vitreledonella richardi is considered to be one of the least studied cephalopods with circumglobal distribution. Thore (1949) indicated that this species occurs mostly near islands and sea mounts and nothing was found in the Arabian Sea.
The present record is the first from the Arabian Sea and was captured about 378 nautical miles from the closest record. The beak of adult V.richardi has been described by Young et al. (2015). The lower jaw structures of adults and paralarvae are very different: paralarvae have numerous teeth, whereas the lower jaw of the adult has a smooth rostrum (Fig. 4a) (Young et al., 2015). Such teeth have been observed also in paralarvae of other cephalopod species (Boletzky 1974; Young et al. 1985; Wakabayashi et al. 2002; Franco-Santos and Vidal 2014). Experimental studies on paralarvae of O.vulgaris (Hernandez-Garcia et al. 2000) showed that they carry out external digestion and ingest the flesh only. The function of teeth at paralarval stage may be related to an adaptation facilitating the suction of the internal fluids of prey (Boletzky 1974; Franco-Santos and Vidal 2014) and removal of semi-digested prey meat from exoskeleton as reported in adult Idiosepius paradoxus (Kasugai et al. 2004). At subsequent development of beaks these teeth disappear allowing crushing of hard parts of crustacean prey due to the shift in diet (Franco-Santos and Vidal 2014). Although there is no currently available information on the diet of early stages of V.richardi, their faint and less developed beak could perhaps be a sign of a diet on soft-bodied prey (Franco-Santos and Vidal 2014). The slit has also been observed in several other cephalopod paralarvae (Franco-Santos and Vidal 2014; Franco-Santos et al. 2014).
Different life stages of V. richardi seem to inhabit different depths in the water column. Adults are usually found in the meso - bathy pelagic zone, depths below 1000 m (Thore 1949). Recently hatched paralarvae were caught during the day in the North Atlantic between 310 and 400 m while larger specimens (3.5–11.5 mm ML) were caught between 110 and 300 m (Lu and Clarke 1975). The V.richardi belongs to cephalopods with so called 4th type of ontogenetic vertical migrations particular for bathypelagic species like Japetella, Eledonella, Vitreledonella. Adult octopuses of these genera spawn in deep seas whereas paralarvae are widely distributed between 100 m and >1000 m with larger paralarvae gradually getting closer to subsurface layers. Upon attaining particular size these octopods gradually move further from oceanic surface (Nesis 1985). Our finding is in agreement with this migratory pattern.
DSL, deep scattering layer; ML, mantle length
We wish to acknowledge Dr. R.E. Young, University of Hawaii, for help with the identification of the specimen and valuable advice. We thank anonymous reviewers for critical comments which helped improve the manuscript. We are also grateful to the Director of the CMFRI, Kochi for facilities and to the captain and crew of F. V. Silver Pompano for their help with on-board sampling.
KKS carried out the sample collection carried out the identification and drafted the MS. VV, AM and RJ participated in the cruise and helped to taking measurements and photographs. KSM designed and coordinated the study and corrected the draft manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
KKS is technical assistant in CMFRI, Kochi. VV and RJ are senior scientists in CMFRI, AM is a technician in CMFRI and KSM is a principal scientist and head of the Molluscan Fisheries Division of CMFRI.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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