Family Ommastrephidae - flying squids and arrow squids

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Cephalopoda
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Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
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Author: Ref. 346. Medium- to large-sized squids (common between 200 and 500 mm ML). Funnel locking cartilage with an inverted T-shaped groove. Arms with biserial suckers. Four rows of suckers on tentacular clubs (club dactylus with 8 sucker series in Illex). Hooks never present on arms or clubs. One of the ventral pair of arms usually hectocotylized in males. Buccal connectives attach to dorsal borders of ventral arms. Gladius distinctive, slender. Paralarvae with fused tentacles forming a trunk-like proboscis. Oceanic and neritic. Found from the surface to 2 500 m. This is one of the most widely distributed and conspicuous families of squids in the world. Ommastrephids are powerful swimmers and some species form large schools. Large numbers of small eggs are produced, encapsulated in gelatinous masses that either float on or near the surface od settle on the bottom. Hatching of the ‘Rhynchoteuthion’ paralarvae occurs after a few days to a few weeks. Post spawning mortality is high. Growth is very fast; in many species the life span does not exceed 1 year. Flying squids are very active predators on many kind of prey (fish, pelagic crustacean and other squids); cannibalism is common. They are preyed upon by sea birds, marine mammals and large fishes. Some neritic species exhibit strong seasonal migrations, wherein they occur in huge numbers in inshore waters where they are accessible to fisheries activities. Most species are exploited commercially. Todarodes pacificus makes up the bulk of the squid landings in Japan, and the captures of Illex argentinus on the Patagonian shelf and around the Falkland islands reach up to 300 000 tonnes some years). Trawling and jigging improved by light attraction are by the far the most common fishing methods. The large size of most species and the heavily muscled structure, make them ideal for human consumption. They are marketed fresh, frozen, or processed in various ways, such as dried, salted, salted-fermented (Ref. 104052).
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Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]


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