The Verany’s long- armed squid, Photo: Uwe Piatkowski/GEOMAR

Image of the Month: February 2018

Verany’s long- armed squid in the net

Our picture of the month shows a verany’s long- armed squid. Scientifically this squids name is Chiroteuthis veranyi. The specimen in the photo was caught off the West African coast during a research cruise by the German research vessel METEOR by means of a modern multiple closing - opening net system. Using these kind of nets the scientists can target well-defined layers in the water column. The angler squid on our picture was caught at a depth of 100-200 meters.

The squid of this species has not yet been fully explored. However, a few facts are already known. The mantle of the young animal in the picture measures about 47 mm. Grown-up animals can reach up to 200 mm. Then they even live in depths down to 3000 meters - a zone known as bathypelagial. The younger animals do not live in such deep zones. During the night, they make trips from several hundred meters depth up to the upper layers of the water column. There, the squid uses its long tentacles to lure larger zooplankton, i.e. small crabs, fish and worms, and then grabs it with its powerful arms.

This species is found in all oceans, but prefers the warmer regions at depths of 150 to 2000 meters, such as the tropical Atlantic, but also the Mediterranean Sea. This squid is unique through its conspicuous anatomy, the light organs and the special shape of its early life stages, which differ considerably from that of the adult animals.

There is no commercial fishing on the verany’s long-armed squid. Since this species has been found in the stomachs of fishes and marine mammals, it is believed that they play an important role in marine food webs.

 

Links:

Squids in the tropical Atlantic (PDF)

Squids as links within and between foodwebs

 

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The german research vessel METEOR, Photo: Martin Visbeck/GEOMAR

The german research vessel METEOR, Photo: Martin Visbeck/GEOMAR

More squids of the Atlantic Ocean (PDF with higher resolution linked under the text), Photos: Uwe Piatkowski/GEOMAR

More squids of the Atlantic Ocean (PDF with higher resolution linked under the text), Photos: Uwe Piatkowski/GEOMAR