Biology of the upper-slope cephalopod Octopus salutii from the western Mediterranean Sea
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A total of 310 individuals (124 males, 185 females, 1 indeterminate) of the octopod Octopus salutii caught throughout the year by bottom trawlers from 25 to 800 m depth in the western Mediterranean were analysed to study some general aspects of its biology. Octopus sizes ranged from 4.0 to 13.0 cm ML and 3.5 to 16.5 cm ML in males and females, respectively. The species inhabits the lower continental shelf and upper slope, primarily between 250 and 500 m depth. The scarcity of small-sized individuals in the samples and the predominance of males and females >8 and >9 cm ML, respectively, suggest two interpretations: (1) juveniles inhabit grounds inaccessible to, or unsampled by, trawlers, or they avoid capture owing to behavioural aspects; or (2) the species meet in the trawling grounds for reproduction, because in the sizes described the majority of individuals have begun sexual maturation. The reproductive period was found to occur during spring and summer. The stomach content analysis ...