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A review of reproductive strategies in cephalopods


Cephalopod reproductive strategies are reviewed in order to clarify their current, confusing status. Based on the type of ovulation, spawning pattern and growth between egg batches or spawning periods, five comprehensive and flexible cephalopod reproductive strategies are defined. Accordingly, with these three factors the following classification is proposed. (a) Spawning once (formerly semelparity) consisting of simultaneous terminal spawning, with synchronous ovulation, monocyclic spawning and absence of growth between egg batches. (b) Spawning more than once (formerly iteroparity) including: (i) polycyclic spawning with egg-laying occurring in separate batches during the spawning season and growth occurring between production of egg batches and spawning seasons; (ii) multiple spawning, with group-synchronous ovulation, monocyclic spawning and growth between egg batches; (iii) intermittent terminal spawning, with group-synchronous ovulation, monocyclic spawning and no growth between egg batches; (iv) continuous spawning, with asynchronous ovulation, monocyclic spawning and growth between egg batches. Examples of species exhibiting each of these reproductive strategies are given. The large amount of inter-species variation in several life-history traits related to reproductive events is discussed.

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Biological Reviews
  • ISSN: 1464-7931
  • EISSN: 1469-185X
  • URL: /core/journals/biological-reviews
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