Shortfin squid (Illex sp.)

Photo Credit: S.W. Ross and M. Rhode (UNCW)

Description: Squids are one of the most important of the large pelagic (free swimming) invertebrates. They’re both vicious predators and prey to many fishes and marine mammals. Humans even prey upon Illex squid, which are commercially harvested and sold both as bait and food (Calamari, Yum!). Squid move around using jet propulsion, inhaling water through their gills and expelling it through a siphon. Shortfin squid live for less than a year and die after spawning.

Geographic Distribution

Figure 1: Relative probability of occurrence of Shortfin squid (Illex sp.) based on computer generated distribution maps. Data source: Aquamaps

Depth Profile

Figure 2: Approximate depth range of Shortfin squid (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.