Observations on mating and spawning in Sepiola affinis and Sepiola intermedia (Cephalopoda: Sepiolidae: Sepiolinae)

Presenting Author: Giambattista Bello

Authors: Adrianne Deickert [1], Giambattista Bello [2]

1. Schriesheim, Germany;
2. Mola di Bari, Italy.

Several papers have described mating in different sepiolines. In this paper, three copulatory acts are described in captive Sepiola affinis (two acts) and Sepiola intermedia (one act; first description of mating in this species). No substantial differences were detected between the two species. In all cases, the male grabbed the female with its arms and positioned it in the “male – to – female neck” position, that is female ventral side lying on male dorsal side. Hence the male inserted its copulatory arm (hectocotylus) into the female mantle cavity to transfer spermatophores. In this position the hectocotylus, left dorsal arm, is lined up with the bursa copulatrix, in the left mantle cavity of the female. Copulations lasted between 30 and 60 minutes. There are few reports of spawning in Sepiolinae. Egg deposition by a female of S. intermedia is described here for the first time. This female deposited its eggs individually, one after the other. To spawn each egg, the female placed itself with the arms joined at their tip to form a cone whose apex pointed to the chosen place where to lay the egg. Following waves of mantle contractions, an egg came out from the arm cone and was attached to the ground. Each spawning act lasted ca. 30”. In all some 100 eggs were laid. It is known that sepiolines are multiple spawners, therefore the group of eggs deposited in the described act represents just one of the batches that this female would have spawned during its maturity life.

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