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Heterololigo bleekeri.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Myopsida
Family: Loliginidae
Genus: Heterololigo
Natsukari, 1984
H. bleekeri
Binomial name
Heterololigo bleekeri
An approximation of the spear squid's Habitat

Loligo bleekeri Keferstein, 1866

Heterololigo is a monotypic genus of squids containing the single species Heterololigo bleekeri. It was formerly classified in the genus Loligo; some authors still include it there, but DNA evidence supports its separation into a genus of its own.[2] This species is known by the common name spear squid.[3][4]

This squid is native to the western Pacific Ocean along the coast of Asia. It can be distinguished from other species in its family by its shorter tentacles.[3] It spawns in spring and summer in the northern part of its range, and in winter farther south. It has a life span of about one year.[3] They are pelagic, found from around 0 - 100 meters.

This squid is caught for food off the coast of Japan.[5] It lays its eggs on the underside of submerged objects. In order to increase catches, artificial substrates have been installed along the coast of Japan to provide more egg-laying sites.[3]

This species is important in biological research. Its mitochondrial genome has been sequenced.[6] Its neurons are used in neurobiology research.[7][8]

Like most Cephalopods, they are gonochoric. Male adults will usually die after spawning, and female adults after brooding.[9] A unique aspect of the reproduction of this species has been well studied. The female has two sperm-storage sites in its body. There are two types of males, the larger "consort" males and the smaller "sneaker" males. Consorts insert sperm into the oviduct of the female, and sneakers place sperm into specialized tissue near the female's mouth.[10] The two male types produce different types of sperm, as well: the large consorts produce sperm with short flagella, while the sneaker males have sperm with longer flagella. The consort sperm fertilize eggs internally, while sneaker sperm fertilize the eggs as they emerge from the female's body and brush past the external sperm-deposition site near the mouth.[11]


  1. ^ Julian Finn (2016). "Heterololigo Natsukari, 1984". World Register of Marine Species. Flanders Marine Institute. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  2. ^ Vecchione, M., et al. (2005). Systematics of Indo-West Pacific loliginids. Phuket Mar. Biol. Cent. Res. Bull 66, 23-26.
  3. ^ a b c d Natsukari, Yutaka; Tashiro, Masatoki (1991). "Neritic squid resources and cuttlefish resources in Japan∗". Marine Behaviour and Physiology. 18 (3): 149–226. doi:10.1080/10236249109378785.
  4. ^ Bouchet, P. (2014). Heterololigo bleekeri (Keferstein, 1866). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS).
  5. ^ Ikeda, Yuzuru; Sakurazawa, Ikuko; Ito, Kingo; Sakurai, Yasunori; Matsumoto, Gen (2005). "Rearing of squid hatchlings, Heterololigo bleekeri (Keferstein 1866) up to 2 months in a closed seawater system". Aquaculture Research. 36 (4): 409–412. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2109.2005.01217.x.
  6. ^ Tomita, K., et al. (2002). The cephalopod Loligo bleekeri mitochondrial genome: multiplied noncoding regions and transposition of tRNA genes. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 54(4), 486-500.
  7. ^ Amano, M., et al. (2008). Immunohistochemical localization of a GnRH-like peptide in the brain of the cephalopod spear-squid, Loligo bleekeri. General and Comparative Endocrinology 156(2), 277-84.
  8. ^ Collins, T. F. and I. Tsutsui. (2003). Neurotransmitters of mantle and fin muscles in spear squid, Loligo bleekeri. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK 83(04), 857-60.
  9. ^ SeaLifeBase California
  10. ^ Iwata, Y., et al. (2014). Dimorphic sperm-transfer strategies and alternative mating tactics in loliginid squid. J Mollus Stud online abstract.
  11. ^ Hirohashi, N., et al. (2014). Respiratory CO2 mediates sperm chemotaxis in squids. In: Sexual Reproduction in Animals and Plants (pp. 13-21). Springer Japan. doi:10.1007/978-4-431-54589-7_2