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A method for long-term electronic tagging and tracking of juvenile and adult European common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis

A method for long-term electronic tagging and tracking of juvenile and adult European common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis
A method for long-term electronic tagging and tracking of juvenile and adult European common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis
The physiology and behaviour of captive cuttlefish have been well studied over recent decades and yet very few parallel studies have investigated the movements and behaviour of free-ranging animals. One reason for this gap is that methods for longer term tracking are not well developed for the majority of species, especially those of smaller size. In this study we describe a methodology for the long-term attachment of electronic tags to free-ranging cuttlefish of a broad size range. Five common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis (122–240 mm mantle length) were fitted with temperature and depth-logging archival tags attached to the internal cuttlebone of the living animal (tag weight was < 1.8% of body weight). Tagged animals recovered rapidly from sedative and surgical procedures and resumed feeding within 24 h of tag attachment. Laboratory-kept cuttlefish maintained in a 2-m deep aquarium exhibited diel vertical movements, spending daylight hours close to the bottom and ascending into the water column at night, a behaviour which is consistent with normal diel vertical migration seen in other marine organisms such as zooplankton and fish. That regular feeding and expected patterns of depth use were observed indicates that tag attachment did not impede normal behaviours. Furthermore, tags remained attached to laboratory cuttlefish for up to 5 months, from first tagging through to natural mortality, and with the tag remaining attached to the cuttlebone post mortem. We also found that cuttlebones with attached tags remained buoyant at the water's surface post mortem, offering the unique opportunity to recover archival tags from cuttlebones washed ashore. The capacity for long-term attachment to juvenile cuttlefish and recovery following natural mortality identifies the potential of this method for recording near ‘lifetime’ behaviour and movements of cuttlefish in their natural environment.
Diel vertical migration, Foraging, Telemetry, Cephalopod, Squid, Octopus
0022-0981
149-155
Wearmouth, Victoria J.
1de41e9a-ba37-4044-9440-ea1af23150b0
Durkin, Olivia C.
1e77e2e4-e259-4336-ad7a-e4a5c9f1f980
Bloor, Isobel S.M.
47df76d8-5385-492b-a972-28dade6449b2
McHugh, Matthew J.
5dfcfc84-6c30-43c8-968b-be2e1bba4546
Rundle, John
a5bbc1a4-4a1f-4208-b10f-68c00fa68efe
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81
Wearmouth, Victoria J.
1de41e9a-ba37-4044-9440-ea1af23150b0
Durkin, Olivia C.
1e77e2e4-e259-4336-ad7a-e4a5c9f1f980
Bloor, Isobel S.M.
47df76d8-5385-492b-a972-28dade6449b2
McHugh, Matthew J.
5dfcfc84-6c30-43c8-968b-be2e1bba4546
Rundle, John
a5bbc1a4-4a1f-4208-b10f-68c00fa68efe
Sims, David W.
7234b444-25e2-4bd5-8348-a1c142d0cf81

Wearmouth, Victoria J., Durkin, Olivia C., Bloor, Isobel S.M., McHugh, Matthew J., Rundle, John and Sims, David W. (2013) A method for long-term electronic tagging and tracking of juvenile and adult European common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 447, 149-155. (doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2013.02.023).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The physiology and behaviour of captive cuttlefish have been well studied over recent decades and yet very few parallel studies have investigated the movements and behaviour of free-ranging animals. One reason for this gap is that methods for longer term tracking are not well developed for the majority of species, especially those of smaller size. In this study we describe a methodology for the long-term attachment of electronic tags to free-ranging cuttlefish of a broad size range. Five common cuttlefish Sepia officinalis (122–240 mm mantle length) were fitted with temperature and depth-logging archival tags attached to the internal cuttlebone of the living animal (tag weight was < 1.8% of body weight). Tagged animals recovered rapidly from sedative and surgical procedures and resumed feeding within 24 h of tag attachment. Laboratory-kept cuttlefish maintained in a 2-m deep aquarium exhibited diel vertical movements, spending daylight hours close to the bottom and ascending into the water column at night, a behaviour which is consistent with normal diel vertical migration seen in other marine organisms such as zooplankton and fish. That regular feeding and expected patterns of depth use were observed indicates that tag attachment did not impede normal behaviours. Furthermore, tags remained attached to laboratory cuttlefish for up to 5 months, from first tagging through to natural mortality, and with the tag remaining attached to the cuttlebone post mortem. We also found that cuttlebones with attached tags remained buoyant at the water's surface post mortem, offering the unique opportunity to recover archival tags from cuttlebones washed ashore. The capacity for long-term attachment to juvenile cuttlefish and recovery following natural mortality identifies the potential of this method for recording near ‘lifetime’ behaviour and movements of cuttlefish in their natural environment.

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More information

Published date: September 2013
Keywords: Diel vertical migration, Foraging, Telemetry, Cephalopod, Squid, Octopus
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358794
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358794
ISSN: 0022-0981
PURE UUID: 5d450349-7762-460a-a85e-44bd8c53a1db

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Date deposited: 10 Oct 2013 14:27
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 18:05

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Contributors

Author: Victoria J. Wearmouth
Author: Olivia C. Durkin
Author: Isobel S.M. Bloor
Author: Matthew J. McHugh
Author: John Rundle
Author: David W. Sims

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