Phylogenomics illuminates the evolution of bobtail and bottletail squid (order Sepiolida)

Gustavo Sanchez, Fernando Fernández-Álvarez, Morag Taite, Chikatoshi Sugimoto, Jeffrey Jolly, Oleg Simakov, Ferdinand Marlétaz, Louise Allcock, Daniel S. Rokhsar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Bobtail and bottletail squid are small cephalopods with striking anti-predatory defensive mechanisms, bioluminescence, and complex morphology; that inhabit nektobenthic and pelagic environments around the world’s oceans. Yet, the evolution and diversification of these animals remain unclear. Here, we used shallow genome sequencing of thirty-two bobtail and bottletail squids to estimate their evolutionary relationships and divergence time. Our phylogenetic analyses show that each of Sepiadariidae, Sepiolidae, and the three subfamilies of the Sepiolidae are monophyletic. We found that the ancestor of the Sepiolinae very likely possessed a bilobed light organ with bacteriogenic luminescence. Sepiolinae forms a sister group to Rossinae and Heteroteuthinae, and split into Indo-Pacific and Atlantic-Mediterranean lineages. The origin of these lineages coincides with the end of the Tethys Sea and the separation of these regions during the Eocene and the beginning of the Oligocene. We demonstrated that sepiolids radiated after the Late Cretaceous and that major biogeographic events might have shaped their distribution and speciation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number819
JournalCommunications biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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