Recruitment, maturation, and spawning of Loligo forbesi Steenstrup (Cephalopoda: Loliginidae) in Irish waters
A number of reproductive indices were compared with a subjective maturity scale for assessment of Loligo forbesi maturity. The ratio between nidamental gland length and mantle length corresponded well with female maturation, as did the ovary mass-soma mass and nidamental gland mass-soma mass ratios. For males, the ratio between spermatophoric complex mass and somatic mass was found to be the most suitable for maturity assessment. The timing of recruitment and maturation of L. forbesi in Irish waters was described from the size and maturity of squid in commercial landings in the south of Ireland during the years 1991–1993. Immature squid first appeared in commercial catches in July and August, and this represented the main period of recruitment. A second period of recruitment was apparent in December 1991, but was not identified in the 1992–1993 season. Mature females were present in the commercially exploited population between November and April, with a small number also found in the summer. The abundance of egg masses was used to indicate timing of spawning. Egg masses recovered from the Cork coast indicated that peak spawning occurred during the winter months, but continued on a small scale for much of the year.