Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

Cross-shelf distribution patterns of tropical juvenile cephalopods sampled with light-traps

NA Moltschaniwskyj and PJ Doherty

Marine and Freshwater Research 46(4) 707 - 714
Published: 1995


This paper describes the cephalopod genera caught with light-traps at different locations and depths in the waters of the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Multiple stations were sampled in four locations: (I) the coastal GBR Lagoon, (2) inter-reef passages (Magnetic and Palm), (3) near-reef environments (Keeper, Helix, Faraday and Myrmidon) ranging from mid- to outer-shelf locations, and (4) the Coral Sea. A total of 13 cephalopod genera was caught from monthly cruises conducted from October to January of 1990-91 and 1991-92. Octopus, the most abundant juvenile cephalopod, was present in relatively high numbers at all shelf locations; few were caught in the Coral Sea. Photololigo, the most abundant squid, was rarely caught outside the GBR Lagoon. In contrast, Sthenoteuthis, the second most abundant squid, was caught at all locations. Deep samples from most locations were dominated by Octopus. Abralia was found only near the bottom of the GBR Lagoon; in contrast, Euprymna, the fourth most abundant genus, was collected only at the surface. Cephalopod communities from the GBR Lagoon had higher abundances of Octopus, Photololigo and Abralia compared with communities from the three other areas. Reef passages and reef locations shared similar communities, with the squid component dominated by Sthenoteuthis. Very low numbers of cephalopods were caught in the Coral Sea by light attraction. High concentrations of cephalopods detected in the middle of the GBR Lagoon are consistent with present knowledge about oceanographic processes over this shelf.

© CSIRO 1995

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