The Southern Ocean cephalopod fauna is distinctive, with high levels of endemism in the squid and particularly in the octopodids. Loliginid squid, sepiids and sepiolids are absent from the Southern Ocean, and all the squid are oceanic pelagic species. The octopodids dominate the neritic cephalopod fauna, with high levels of diversity, probably associated with niche separation. In common with temperate cephalopods, Southern Ocean species appear to be semelparous, but growth rates are probably lower and longevity greater than temperate counterparts. Compared with equivalent temperate species, eggs are generally large and fecundity low, with putative long development times. Reproduction may be seasonal in the squid but is extended in the octopodids. Cephalopods play an important role in the ecology of the Southern Ocean, linking the abundant mesopelagic fish and crustaceans with higher predators such as albatross, seals and whales. To date Southern Ocean cephalopods have not been commercially exploited, but there is potential for exploitation of muscular species of the Family Ommastrephidae.
Authors: Collins, Martin A. ORCID record for Martin A. Collins, Rodhouse, Paul G.K.