Little flying squid

Todarodes pusillus

The little flying squid is a species of squid, one of the arrow squids of the genus ''Todarodes, in the subfamily ''Todarodinae of the flying squid family Ommastrephidae. It is a small species from the waters around northern Australia and Indonesia.
Little Flying Squid - Todarodes pusillus Not definitely sure of its exact species, its a Flying Squid, possibly Little Flying Squid - Todarodes pusillus based on the location of the sighting.

There are 5 known Flying Squid species :
1. Angolan Flying Squid (Todarodes angolensis) - from south eastern Atlantic Ocean
2. Antarctic Flying Squid (Todarodes filipovae) - with circumglobal distribution in the Southern Ocean south of 35°S
3. Japanese Flying Squid (Todarodes pacificus) - from Northern Pacific Ocean down to Vietnam
4. Little Flying Squid (Todarodes pusillus) - from Northern Australia to South Philippines (Mindanao)
5. European Flying Squid (Todarodes sagittatus) - from Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea

This picture was taken during a night dive off the reef, in what we called, Black Water Dive, hovering in the open ocean column with depths of 50 meters to several hundred meters. Flying Squid,Little Flying Squid,Palawan,Philippines,Squid,Todarodes pusillus

Appearance

The little flying squid is said to be dwarf species of flying squid compared to the other species pf ''Todarodes'', the largest female recorded to date had a mantle length of 74mm and the largest male measured 68mm mantle. The maximum mantle length is not thought to exceed 100mm, compared to 500mm for the Japanese flying squid. It also has relatively small fins which only have a length equivalent to 25 to 31% of the mantle length . It has a cylindrical, muscular body, typical of related species, which tapers to a short, pointed tail.

Its fourth right arm bears a hectocotylus on the distal half and has 11-13 normal suckers on its basal portion, ventral trabeculae which are broadened and joined forming low serrated fan with approximately 20 pairs of trabeculae. The second and third arms on each side are longer than the first and fourth arms being slightly less than half of the mantle length. The largest arm suckers have 9-11 sharp different sized teeth on distal two thirds of their rings. The height of the protective membrane on the arms is uniform and it is not higher than that of the suckers. The manus of the tentacles has 6-8 sucker rows in four series and the rings of the medial suckers on the manus have 16-18 moderately large, subconical teeth which alternate with low plates and are around 2.5 times largers than the marginal suckers in diameter. On the tentacles the protective membranes extends to the carpal region, its height never exceeds the sucker height and it has weak supports.

Distribution

The little flying squid is found in northern Australia where it occurs in the regions of the continental shelf and upper continental slope. Its distribution extends from the Timor Sea and along the eastern coast of Australia from the Torres Strait south to waters off Brisbane. It has also been recorded in a narrow band extending north from the Timor Sea through the Indonesian archipelago to Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

Behavior

The little flying squid's biology is little known. All speciemsn caight to date have been caught at depths of between 78m and 357m where the water temperature at depths of 50m was greater than 23 °C and that at the surface could reach 29 °C in the summer. A single trawl has caught up to 54 individuals which suggests that this species forms schools. Any females caught which are larger than 60 mm mantle length have all been sexually mature, with eggs present in their oviducts and all males with mantle lengths greater than 50mm bore mature spermatophores.

Habitat

The little flying squid's biology is little known. All speciemsn caight to date have been caught at depths of between 78m and 357m where the water temperature at depths of 50m was greater than 23 °C and that at the surface could reach 29 °C in the summer. A single trawl has caught up to 54 individuals which suggests that this species forms schools. Any females caught which are larger than 60 mm mantle length have all been sexually mature, with eggs present in their oviducts and all males with mantle lengths greater than 50mm bore mature spermatophores.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassCephalopoda
OrderOegopsida
FamilyOmmastrephidae
GenusTodarodes
SpeciesT. pusillus
Photographed in
Maldives