We attempted to determine cross-shelf, diel, and seasonal distribution patterns of paralarval cephalopods off eastern Florida during a 5-year study that employed both open-net and discrete-depth closing-net sampling. Based on our 303 samples, abundant and common squid taxa included the squid Doryteuthis spp., which tended to be in coastal and intermediate waters, and Abralia cf veranyi (Eye-Flash Squid), Illex spp. (shortfin squid), and Ommastrephidae Type A (which could include Ommastrephes bartramii [Neon Flying Squid] and Ornithoteuthis antillarum [Atlantic Bird Squid]), mostly in intermediate and Florida Current waters. Species diversity and abundance were usually greatest in Florida Current waters versus coastal and intermediate waters. Overall, however, few patterns were obvious from these samples. Accessory sampling to examine variability indicated that a large number of samples are required to infer detailed distribution patterns. We also found that the difference in variation between sampling at a fixed location and sampling within a moving parcel of water was not consistent.
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Vol. 16 • No. 4