An ethogram of the Humboldt squid Dosidicus gigas Orbigny (1835) as observed from remotely operated vehicles

In: Behaviour
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  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA
  • 2 Department of Biological Sciences, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA 92505, USA
  • 3 School of Biology, Miall Building, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
  • 4 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA

Many cephalopods can rapidly change their external appearance to produce multiple body patterns. Body patterns are composed of various components, which can include colouration, bioluminescence, skin texture, posture, and locomotion. Shallow water benthic cephalopods are renowned for their diverse and complex body pattern repertoires, which have been attributed to the complexity of their habitat. Comparatively little is known about the body pattern repertoires of open ocean cephalopods. Here we create an ethogram of body patterns for the pelagic squid, Dosidicus gigas. We used video recordings of squid made in situ via remotely operated vehicles (ROV) to identify body pattern components and to determine the occurrence and duration of these components. We identified 29 chromatic, 15 postural and 6 locomotory components for D. gigas, a repertoire rivalling nearshore cephalopods for diversity. We discuss the possible functional roles of the recorded body patterns in the behavioural ecology of this open ocean species.

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