Tactical tentacles: new insights on the processes of sexual selection among the Cephalopoda

Morse, Peter, and Huffard, Christine L. (2019) Tactical tentacles: new insights on the processes of sexual selection among the Cephalopoda. Frontiers in Physiology, 10. 1035.

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The cephalopods (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) are an exceptional class among the invertebrates, characterised by the advanced development of their conditional learning abilities, long-term memories, capacity for rapid colour change and extremely adaptable hydrostatic skeletons. These traits enable cephalopods to occupy diverse marine ecological niches, become successful predators, employ sophisticated predator avoidance behaviours and have complex intraspecific interactions. Where studied, observations of cephalopod mating systems have revealed detailed insights to the life histories and behavioural ecologies of these animals. The reproductive biology of cephalopods is typified by high levels of both male and female promiscuity, alternative mating tactics, long-term sperm storage prior to spawning, and the capacity for intricate visual displays and/or use of a distinct sensory ecology. This review summarises the current understanding of cephalopod reproductive biology, and where investigated, how both pre-copulatory behaviours and post-copulatory fertilisation patterns can influence the processes of sexual selection. Overall, it is concluded that sperm competition and possibly cryptic female choice are likely to be critical determinants of which individuals' alleles get transferred to subsequent generations in cephalopod mating systems. Additionally, it is emphasised that the optimisation of offspring quality and/or fertilisation bias to genetically compatible males are necessary drivers for the proliferation of polyandry observed among cephalopods, and potential methods for testing these hypotheses are proposed within the conclusion of this review. Further gaps within the current knowledge of how sexual selection operates in this group are also highlighted, in the hopes of prompting new directions for research of the distinctive mating systems in this unique lineage.

Item ID: 61745
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-042X
Keywords: cryptic female choice, cuttlefish, mate choice, octopus, polyandry, reproduction, sperm competition, squid
Copyright Information: © 2019 Morse and Huffard.
Funders: James Cook University School of Research
Date Deposited: 13 May 2020 21:22
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
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