The biology and ecology of the jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas (Cephalopoda) in Chilean waters: a review
ABSTRACT. The jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas is the most abundant cephalopod species in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, which supports the biggest cephalopod fishery in the world. Due to its growing economic importance, the population growth and distributional expansion of this squid is being increasingly studied. Nevertheless, some basic features of the biology of D. gigas are still unknown or have been poorly investigated. In this review we summarize the known information regarding the biology and ecology of this species in the southeastern Pacific Ocean; we focus on the Chilean region in order to propose hypotheses and research lines for a better understanding the life history of this organism. Available data on the size structure, reproduction and genetics of D. gigas allows us to propose hypotheses related to the squid's life history traits. Based on the current literature and publications of colleagues, we propose two hypotheses regarding the effect of spatial variation on the life history of D. gigas. Hypothesis 1: Squids mature at large sizes and spawn in oceanic waters with warm temperatures where paralarvae and juveniles develop. Immature squids migrate near shore to feed, grow and mature, and then return to the offshore sites to spawn. Hypothesis 2: Alternatively, juvenile D. gigas in the oceanic zone do not migrate to coastal waters and mature at small sizes compared to individuals living near the coast that mature at larger size and migrate to oceanic waters to spawn. We provide background information about the feeding behavior and parasitism of this species, suggesting that D. gigas is an important trophic link in the southeastern Pacific marine ecosystem. However, more studies on the feeding habits, reproduction and parasite load are needed not only to test hypotheses proposed in this study, but also to advance the overall knowledge of this species.