On the biology of the European flying squid Todarodes Sagittatus (Lamarck, 1798) (cephalopoda, ommastrephidae) in the Central Eastern Atlantic

  • U Piatkowski
  • V Hernández-García
  • MR Clarke


A total of 206 specimens of the ommastrephid squid Todarodes sagittatus, obtained from three areas of the central eastern Atlantic (Canary Islands/African coast, Madeira, and the Gettysburg Bank area south of Portugal) were examined. New information on size, mass, length-mass relationships, reproductive biology, and diet of the squid from a hitherto not very well studied area is supplied. Females dominated the samples (78%) and attained larger size and mass than males. Dorsal mantle lengths of T. sagittatus in the Canary Islands/African coast samples and in the Madeira region were similar, 167 – 348 mm for females and 175 – 269 mm for males. From the Gettysburg Bank all specimens were immature, females ranging between 71 and 276 mm and males from 98 to 233 mm. Mature females were found mainly during winter and mature males nearly year-round,
indicating that they mature earlier than females and at a smaller size. Prey consisted mainly of fish (54.9%), decapods (18.8%) and cephalopods (12.1%). Otoliths and fish bones identified from stomach contents suggest
that myctophids were the most common and diverse prey.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X