First record and description of Planctoteuthis (Cephalopoda: Chiroteuthidae) paralarvae in the Gulf of California, Mexico
ABSTRACT We report for the first time the presence of doratopsis stages of Planctoteuthis sp. 1 (Cephalopoda: Chiroteuthidae) in the Gulf of California, Mexico, including a description of the morphological characters obtained from three of the five best-preserved specimens. The specimens were obtained from zooplankton samples collected in oblique Bongo net tows during June 2014 in the southern Gulf of California, Mexico. Chromatophore patterns on the head, chambered brachial pillar, and buccal mass, plus the presence of a structure, possibly a photophore, at the base of the eyes covered by thick, golden reflective tissue are different from those of the doratopsis stages of Planctoteuthis danae and Planctoteuthis lippula known from the Pacific Ocean. These differences suggest Planctoteuthis sp. 1 belongs to Planctoteuthis oligobessa, the only other species known from the Pacific Ocean or an unknown species. Systematic sampling covering a poorly sampled entrance zone of the Gulf of California was important in the collection of the specimens.