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Observation of the sexual interactions of Sepioteuthis sepioidea squid during the short reproductive stage of their lives showed a scramble competition system, with both male and female polygyny. Mature females were faithful to a specific location in the daytime, whereas males moved from group to group and formed short-term consortships with females. Males defended females from other males, particularly with an agonistic Zebra display. Male–female pairs exchanged Saddle-Stripe displays, after which males might display an on–off Flicker. There was considerable female choice. Only if a female responded to this display with a parallel Rocking action would she pair and would the males deposit spermatophores at the base of her arms, and only 50% of the time did females move the spermatophores internally to where sperm might be released and stored in the oviducal gland for later fertilization of eggs. This long-term set of interactions and solitary deposition of hidden egg strings contrasts with the attraction of both sexes to a common ‘egg mop’ laid by many females which was a site of competition in other loliginid squid. Since Sepioteuthis is a primitive genus within the family Loliginidae, it may represent a generalist reproductive strategy that evolved into a specialized localization one.


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