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Biology of the deep-sea octopus Bathypolypus sponsalis (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) from the western Mediterranean Sea
Quetglas, A.; Gonzalez, M.; Carbonell, A.; Sanchez, P. (2001). Biology of the deep-sea octopus Bathypolypus sponsalis (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) from the western Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 138(4): 785-792.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Quetglas, A.
  • Gonzalez, M.
  • Carbonell, A.
  • Sanchez, P.

    Several aspects of the biology of Bathypolypus sponsalis were studied from 297 individuals (115 males, 180 females and 2 indeterminates) caught in a depth range of 200–800?m depth in the western Mediterranean Sea. The paper presents data on sizes (length-weight relationships, size-frequency distributions) and reproduction (sex ratio, maturation, condition), and also analyses of the diet of B. sponsalis from samples taken throughout the year. Length-weight relationships showed that females are heavier than males at the same mantle length. Although mature individuals were found all year round, the maximum number occurred in spring and summer. Sexual maturation data revealed that males mature at smaller sizes than females. The gonadosomatic index increased with maturity in both sexes; the increase was gradual in males, but abrupt in females. The digestive gland index was used as a condition index and showed a differential behaviour with maturity; it increased gradually in females, but decreased in males. Like other octopus species, B. sponsalis appears to be an opportunistic predator, feeding on a great variety of preys. Stomach content analysis yielded a total of 19 different prey items belonging to four major groups (Crustacea, Mollusca, Ophiuroidea and Osteichthya). The first three groups were the more frequent preys, since crustaceans, molluscs and ophiuroids appeared in 76%, 49% and 30% of the stomachs, respectively. Decapoda Reptantia (among crustaceans) and cephalopods and bivalves (among molluscs) constituted the more abundant prey items. While the Decapoda Reptantia group was significantly more abundant in stomach contents of females, gastropods were taken more frequently by males. These differences in diet could reveal females as a more active predators than males.

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