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What species of tiny squid is this ?

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by calypsonick, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Mike Veitch

    Mike Veitch Dive Charter

    Ok guys just got this from James Woods, i would like to thank him for taking the time to draft a reply. Looks like he likes the photos too Calypsonick...

    From James:

    Some comments:

    First off - Nice pictures!!! Yes, I’d love to post them on The Cephalopod Page with proper credit, even if we don’t get an exact ID.

    As was pointed out early on and despite public opinion, scientists can not ID every animal in a taxa from a picture, even a really good picture. This is especially true for an animal that can change color, shape and texture from a part of the world where it is very clear that undescribed species are not rare. Remember, the mimic octopus isn’t yet described and we just managed to photograph a live giant squid. There is a LOT we don’t know. More than most people think. The upside is that we will never run out of things for the next generation of scientists to work on.

    To ID a ceph, we usually need a specimen to dissect, preferably several specimens that are adults of each sex. In addition, many of us aren’t even taxonomists; for example, I work on live cephalopods. . . and do everything I can to keep them alive. If they die, I rapidly lose interest in them. From my work co-developing and managing CephBase from 1998-2003, I’ve had to learn a lot of the taxonomy but my research is on life history, behavior and physiology. If you sent me this guy as a specimen, I would forward it on to a real taxonomist (most of which have retired - another problem). Molecular work is both helping and confusing things. . . It seems real life is complicated – go figure.

    Text books that cover general subjects (like all inverts, 95% of the animal kingdom) tend to be out way of date, often 10 years out of data. The Cephalopod Page, my personal web site isn’t a taxonomy site but I do split the orders following more recent publications. CephBase is also out of date but it is recently out of date being current to 2003 – we split the orders. Mark Norman’s book, I think, came out in 2004 and (?) I think splits them. To confuse matters even more, current taxonomists often do not agree. “It's the usual. Authority A says it's "blab" and Authority B says it's "blip", each has followers” – LeslieH. Yup - pick your poison.

    If that weren’t bad enough, common names make it worse! Starfish aren’t fish, sea horses aren’t horses, and bobtail squid aren’t true squid! Don’t worry, scientists also refer to them as squid in scientific papers. . . but also use the Latin name.

    My best guess is that this cute little guy is an adult Sepiolid (yup, extra credit points for anyone that said bob tail squid and similiar cephs). Take a look at http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/Escolopes.html
    for a related species that is common in Hawaii.

    Since I’m posting, please be advised that The Cephalopod Page is moving to: http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/ TCP is my personal page on cephalopods and had been online since 1995. The site is currently under heavy renovation.

  2. LeslieH

    LeslieH Barracuda

    Exactly! Polychaetes are just as bad and even well defined groups like crabs and molluscs can be hard because the vital characters just don't show in photographs. Even fish - it's difficult to count the number of fin spines in an image. Thanks to James for stating this so well and to Mike for the connection.

    Arch - I totally agree with you about the horrors of neglected, rotting collections. Should anyone there want to send their specimens to a good home feel free to contact me. :D Unlike other institutions we still have a good many empty shelves just waiting for specimens. Capitellids are not so bad if you compare them to cirratulids:banghead:
  3. archman

    archman ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Nah, nothing's as bad as polychaetes. I'll take cephalopods any day of the week. Heck, I'll take anything over polychaetes... well maybe not nematodes.

    I'm surprised Dr. Wood responded so fast. How nice. Great website, too.
  4. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    If that picuture were taken around here they would call it a Sepiola. Is that what you're calling a bobtail squid?

    (see picture of a Mediterranean one)

  5. calypsonick

    calypsonick Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Suva, Fiji
    Mike, Thanks for contacting Dr. Wood. Please thank him for taking the time to help ID these little guys. I would love to provide whatever pictures he'd like. Looks like I need to get out there and take some more shots (not that I need an excuse, ;-) )

  6. LeslieH

    LeslieH Barracuda

    Now those are fighting words! Comparing them to nematodes, sheesh!! I meant polychaetes are just as hard to id from images but otherwise they are the peak of creation IMHO!! :05:

    Yup, Sepiola is another bobtail. So cute.....
  7. SubMariner

    SubMariner C'est Moi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A Canuck Conch
    except that this thread features some darn fine pictures!! :thumb:

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