Humboldt squid: 24 km/h
| Humboldt squid, Illex, Japanese flying squid, European flying squid, Ommastrephinae|
Ommastrephidae is a family of squid containing three subfamilies, 11 genera, and over 20 species. They are widely distributed globally and are extensively fished for food. One species, Todarodes pacificus, comprises around half of the world's cephalopod catch annually.
Some members of Ommastrephidae (volplaning species) are known to have the ability to glide out of water, earning them the common name of "flying squid".
The Ommastrephids are small to large squids, with mantle lengths ranging from that of the glass squid (Hyaloteuthis pelagica) at 9 cm (3.5 in), to the Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) at 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The mantle narrows towards the back and possesses large terminal fins. The family is characterized by an inverted T-shaped funnel locking cartilage. They have an easily recognizable, slender, feather-shaped gladius with a hollow cone structure (the primary conus). Light organs (photophores) are present along the head and mantle of members of the subfamily Ommastrephinae.
Ommastrephid arms have a double series of suckers. The enlarged tips (the clubs) of the tentacles have four rows of suckers, except in the genus Illex, which has eight. Hooks are absent. One of the ventral arms develops into a secondary sexual organ (the hectocotylus) in males.
All ommastrephids are active predators. Their arms and tentacles bear sharp teeth and are used to grasp and bring prey to their beaked mouths. They are very strong swimmers, and some species are known to glide out of water to escape predators.
Ommastrephid paralarvae are distinctive for having fused tentacles, looking like a single "proboscis". It gradually splits into two as the paralarvae grow becoming completely separated once they reach mantle lengths of 5 to 10 mm (0.20 to 0.39 in).
Ommastrephids usually occur in pelagic waters, but can also be found in neritic habitats. They are found worldwide.
Ommastrephidae was first established by the Danish zoologist Japetus Steenstrup in 1857. It is classified under the suborder Oegopsina of the order Teuthida (squids). It is divided into three subfamilies - Illicinae, Ommastrephinae, and Todarodinae; further subdivided into 11 genera and more than 20 species.
These subfamilies, genera, species, and subspecies are classified under Ommastrephidae:Family Ommastrephidae
Illex argentinus, Argentine shortfin squid
Illex coindetii, southern shortfin squid
Illex illecebrosus, northern shortfin squid
Illex oxygonius, sharptail shortfin squid
Dosidicus gigas, Humboldt squid, jumbo flying squid or jumbo squid
Eucleoteuthis luminosa, striped squid or luminous flying squid
Hyaloteuthis pelagica, glassy flying squid
Ommastrephes bartramii, neon flying squid or red flying squid
Ornithoteuthis antillarum, Atlantic bird squid
Ornithoteuthis volatilis, shiny bird squid
Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis, purpleback squid or purpleback flying squid
Sthenoteuthis pteropus, orangeback squid or orangeback flying squid
Martialia hyadesii, sevenstar flying squid
Nototodarus gouldi, Gould's flying squid
Nototodarus hawaiiensis, Hawaiian flying squid
Nototodarus sloanii, Wellington flying squid or New Zealand arrow squid
Todarodes angolensis, Angola flying squid
Todarodes filippovae, Antarctic flying squid
Todarodes pacificus, Japanese flying squid or Japanese common squid
Todarodes pacificus pacificus
Todarodes pacificus pusillus
Todarodes sagittatus, European flying squid
Todaropsis eblanae, lesser flying squid