Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating

Date:
July 18, 2012
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
In order to pass on their genes, southern dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating with each partner, but researchers have found that this results in a reduced ability to swim for up to 30 minutes afterwards.

Southern dumpling squid.
Credit: Mark Norman

In order to pass on their genes, southern dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating with each partner, but University of Melbourne researchers have found that this results in a reduced ability to swim for up to 30 minutes afterwards.

The research provides new insight into the evolution of reproductive strategies and behaviours and is the first time that the energetic costs of mating have been shown to affect physical abilities after mating.

The research was conducted by Master of Science student Ms Amanda Franklin with Ms Zoe Squires and Dr Devi Stuart-Fox from the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne, and is published July 18 in the international journal Biology Letters.

The team studied dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica) that live in waters of Southern Australia including Port Phillip Bay and Tasmania and reach about 7cm long at adult size.

Dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating and males appear to initiate mating whenever the opportunity arises. The male grabs the female from underneath, and holds her in place throughout copulation. Both males and females can change colour from a sandy yellow to dark purple with green and orange highlights. They can also produce a cloud of ink as a decoy to help them escape from predators.

Ms Franklin said the team was keen to understand the impact of such an extensive mating ritual because although traditionally thought to be trivial, the energetic costs of mating could reduce an animal's survival if it decreased the ability to avoid predators and forage for food.

The researchers collected dumpling squid from St Leonards in south-eastern Australia and tested their swimming endurance against a constant current of water in the lab. The squid were then allowed to mate and their swimming ability re-tested.

"We found that after mating, both male and female dumpling squid took up to thirty minutes to recover to their previous swimming ability," Ms Franklin said.

"This suggested that the squid were suffering from temporary muscle fatigue."

"Our results were a little surprising as the degree of fatigue was similar in both genders even though mating looks more strenuous for males."

"We predict that during this phase of muscle fatigue, squid may hide in the sand to avoid predators until they have recovered. The cost to them in doing this of course is that they cannot forage for food or search for other mates at this time."

Dumpling squid are closely related to about 10 bobtail squid species found around the world, including the waters around Hawaii and the South China Sea. These species have similar mating habits to the southern dumpling squid.

"Dumpling squid live for less than a year, and may engage in the energetic activity of mating many times within their short breeding period. This reproductive strategy may have other costs to individuals besides energy loss and we have investigated this further by assessing the effect of mating on female lifespan. We're hoping to report the results of this experiment very soon."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amanda Michelle Franklin, Zoe Elizabeth Squires, and Devi Stuart-Fox. The energetic cost of mating in a promiscuous cephalopod. Biology Letters, July 18, 2012 DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0556

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718103946.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2012, July 18). Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718103946.htm
University of Melbourne. "Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718103946.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins