Cephalopods distribution in the southern Aegean Sea
The present study concerns faunal composition and distribution of cephalopods in the southern Aegean Sea (35Ζ 13’ 19’’- 37Ζ 55’ 25’’ N, 23Ζ 00’ 15’’ - 28Ζ 15’ 37’’ E). Samples were collected from 708 hauls, obtained by an experimental bottom trawl net during eight surveys carried out in the summers of the years 1994-2001, as well as by commercial trawl net during four surveys carried out in September 1995, December 1995, May and September 1996. The hauls were performed at depths ranging from 16 to 778 m. A total of 34 species of cephalopod in 12 families were identified, including 11 oegopsid squid, 3 myopsid squid, 7 octopod, 3 cuttlefish and 10 sepiolid. Trawling with the experimental net resulted in the capturing of some uncommon pelagic species, such as Ctenopteryx siculaand Octopoteuthis sicula, which were recorded for the first time in the Aegean Sea. Most of the species showed a wide depth and geographical range. The species: Sepia officinalis, Sepietta neglecta, Sepietta obscuraand Sepiola rondeletiwere caught only on the continental shelf, whereas the Ancistroteuthis lichtensteini, Bathypolypous sponsalis, Brachioteuthis riisei, Chiroteuthis veranyi, Ctenopteryx sicula, Heteroteuthis dispar, Histioteuthis reversa, Neorossia caroli and Pyroteuthis margaritiferawere found only on the slope. The rest of the species extended in both continental shelf and slope. The spatial distribution of different species groups is discussed in relation to the hydrology and topography of the study area and the species ecology.