Results of Soviet investigations of the distribution and ecology of pelagic squids (Oegopsida) in the Southern Ocean
The USSR has carried out a long-term investigation of the distribution and ecology of pelagic squids (Oegopsida) in the Southern Ocean. In 1965–1977 a total of 326 squid specimens were collected at 124 stations with sampling by midwater nets. 125 specimens of that total were identified as Brachioteuthis riisei. In recent years (1978-1984) the collection was increased by two or three dozen specimens mostly identified as the little-studied Alluroteuthis antarcticus (family Neuleuthidae). 14 species of squid are considered to inhabit permanently the Southern Ocean. They belong to 9 families (13 genera). The pelagic squids are very seldom caught by fishing nets in Antarctic waters and data on squid beaks taken from sperm whale stomachs were also considered.
Up-to-date descriptions of all fourteen species are suggested. Where data are available the description includes geographical distribution, habitat, size, food diet and position of a species in a food web. Such description is also suggested for M. hamiltoni, the data on which come only from beaks found in sperm whale stomachs. All species are divided into three major groups in accordance with their habitats: tropico-subtropical, natal and Antarctic types.
In view of the absence of squid beaks in the bottom sediments in the Antarctic, two hypotheses are suggested: all squids migrate to the Antarctic in the summer seasons from the sub-tropical and notal areas, or the abundance of the true meso- and bathypelagic squids is very low.
It is proposed to concentrate future research on squids in the waters of high bioproductivity south of 60°S.