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. This species is known by the common name spear squid.
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. 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.
This squid is caught for food off the coast of Japan. 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.
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. 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.
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