Production of soma and gonad in maturing male Illex argentinus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda)
Samples of male Illex argentinus were taken from the catch of a Japanese squid jigging vessel on the Patagonian Shelf during March 1986 and an analysis was carried out on the morphometrics of the somatic and reproductive organ systems in relation to maturation. The data show that growth and maturation occurred simultaneously during most of the time that Illex argentinus males were on the feeding grounds over the southern Patagonian Shelf. In a squid of a ‘standard’ mantle length the whole body mass increased relative to mantle length during maturation and this could be attributed to the increase in mass of the reproductive and accessory reproductive organs. During maturation the mantle and digestive gland mass showed no significant change relative to mantle length. The mass of the head increased and the mass of the viscera decreased relative to mantle length. In male Illex argentinus, as in the female, the energy and nutrient resources for maturation are derived from the squid's food and during the course of maturation there is an increasing shift of emphasis from somatic growth to production of gonad and accessory reproductive organs. The proportional investment of body mass in reproductive and accessory reproductive organs predicted for a fully mature male Illex argentinus was less than half that of the female.