Strontium to calcium ratios were observed along longitudinal sections of statoliths of nine neon flying squid, Ommastrephes bartrami (LeSueur, 1821), including three mature females (422 to 454 mm mantle length, ML; 207 to 306 d old) obtained from the North Pacific (27-35°N; 144-150°E) during winter and six immature males and females (187 to 226 mm ML; 126 to 164 d old) collected from 39°N; 145°E and 39°N; 169°W during summer. The distances between the nucleus (core) and the edge of the dorsal dome were approximately 660 to 690 μm in mature females and 450 to 510 μm in the immature squid. Sr/Ca ratios were determined at intervals of 30 μm between the nucleus and edge of the dorsal dome. St/Ca ratios were higher in areas near the nuclei and peripheral portions of the dorsal dome than in the middle portions of the statoliths (270 to 420 μm from the nuclei, corresponding to ages of 60 to 90 d) in mature females; thus a U-shaped pattern was evident. Sr/Ca ratios in the six immature squid decreased from nucleus to the dorsal dome; in three squid the ratios slightly increased toward the dorsal dome edge. The observed Sr/Ca ratios in immature squid were considered to represent younger portions of the U-shaped pattern. In the present study we discuss this pattern in relation to environmental and biological conditions of O. bartrami, which undertakes seasonal migrations between spawning grounds in the Subtropical Domain and feeding grounds in the Subarctic Domain and Transitional Zone in the North Pacific Ocean. Although Sr/Ca ratios are potentially affected by ambient water temperature and ontogenetic conditions, including somatic growth and statolith growth, it was impossible to evaluate each environmental and biological effect separately, as variations in these factors are complicated and effects could be interdependent.
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