[NatureNS] Peale's Squid sea-mops of eggs at Evangeline

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 22:37:50 -0300
From: "Andrew Hebda" <hebdaaj@gov.ns.ca>
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Hi Jim 

Found some at the weir at Carr's Brook  on the 25th of June, 5 Islands Park (by the Old wife)  7th of July and Burntcoat Head on the 10th of July.  Nothing like the masses laid in 1979 and 1980, but still impressive  "egg mops".  Some small squid in some of teh tide pools, but nothing over about 15 cm mantle lengths.


>>> "James W. Wolford" <jimwolford@eastlink.ca> 07/12/12 10:05 PM >>>
JULY 12, 2012 - Yesterday Roy Bishop sent me two photos of a huge  
mass of eggs (egg-mops) from oodles of female Peale's or Shortfin  
Squids, Loligo pealei (now named Longfin Inshore Squid (Doryteuthis  
pealeii)(according to a Wikipedia  search of "Loligo") on Evangeline  
Beach at high-tide line not far from his cottage, which is east of  
the viewing platform and new stairs.

Thus today in early afternoon (tide low) I descended the new public  
stairs (very nice and sturdy and should last for many years) to the  
upper beach and walked eastward, toward Boot Island.  In a very short  
time I began discovering lots of flattened thick "pancakes" of  
sediment-encrusted batches of "sea-mops" (good description) of the  
squid eggs.  Batches were of variable sizes, and eventually, just  
past Roy's stairs and cottage, found a large batch among some rocks,  
quite possibly some of the big batch photographed by Roy yesterday.   
It looked to my eye like the various batches of eggs represented  
different stages of development, and some that Roy noticed yesterday  
were clearly close to hatching, since they showed the paired dark eyes.

I very fondly recall, back in my teaching days, finding some Peale's  
Squid eggs that were just hatching, and the little hatchlings were  
incredibly cute and well-developed, with the eyes, two tentacles or  
arms, pigment cells that were big and coloured and actively  
condensing and expanding, functional fins on the mantle, and jet- 
propulsion mechanisms intact, so that the squidlets were moving in  
the water sort-of like "water fleas" (Daphnia, Cladocerans,  
crustaceans).  Such were my nostalgic memories, which may not be  
truly realistic, since it was decades ago that I last observed this,  
with eggs probably from Kingsport?

I'm pretty sure I recall somebody finding these eggs at Scots' Bay too?

I got out Merritt Gibson's book, "Seashores of the Maritimes" (2003,  
Nimbus Publishing), and he wrote of the mops of eggs:

"...If collected, they will continue to grow in chilled and fresh  
seawater.  Examine several clusters with a hand lens.  The cells  
divide quickly and, in about 3 days, completely overgrow the yolk.   
Eyes appear when the embryos are about 3.5 days old, arms at about  
5.5 days, and the mantle cylinder at 6.5 days.  Young larvae pulsate,  
the older ones spin around within the egg capsules, the heart starts  
beating, and the red and yellow spots appear at about the same time  
as do the fins.  The squid hatches at day 20 in water at 16 to 18  
degrees C...."

Merritt did a lab study of development rates at different  
temperatures decades ago, and somewhere in my files I still have that  
manuscript (I think).

Back on June 15, 2012, Gerry Cudmore photographed a much smaller  
quantity of sea-mops of egg-fingers of Peale's Squids further north  
between Delhaven and Blomidon on the Minas Basin beach.

Peale's Squid or the Long-finned Squid is a relatively warm-water  
squid, existing as adults mainly south of Cape Cod, I think, although  
the Wikipedia has them as far north as Newfoundland (?).  The squids  
on the Squid-Jigging Ground of Newfoundland are Boreal Squids, Illex  
illecebrosus, alias Short-finned or Shortfin Squids.

For people who inquire off the list, I can provide Roy Bishop's  
photographs of the egg-clusters at Evangeline Beach yesterday.

Cheers from Jim in Wolfville.

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