IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Bathyteuthis abyssicola, Hoyle



Bathyteuthis abyssicola, Hoyle, Narr. Chall. Exp., vol. i. p. 272, fig. 108, 1885.



The Body is subcylindrical, somewhat narrowing towards and bluntly rounded at the posterior extremity. The fins are small, separate; each is somewhat rectangular in shape, with rounded angles, and attached to the body by one angle.


The mantle-margin is almost transverse, but projects slightly on the dorsal median line, and forms a shallow sinus behind each eye and the siphon. The mantle-connective consists of a long linear ridge, extending quite to the margin, and fitting into a similar but somewhat shorter and broader groove on the base of the siphon, which is short, tapering, and bluntly pointed, fits into a shallow depression below the head, but has no dorsal bridles.


The Head is much broader than the body, being distended laterally by the enormous eyes which look outwards and forwards, and have bright, prominent, glistening lenses.


The Arms are unequal, the order of length being 4, 3, 2, 1, and about one-fourth the length of the body: they are all conical and taper to slender points; each has a distinct angle along the outer side, which expands to a distinct web in the fourth pair; there is also a very narrow delicate web along each side of the sucker bearing face. The suckers are very minute, pedunculate, and are arranged in to rows, almost embedded in the arm: they are spheroidal, and have a smooth horny ring, surrounded by two or three rows of conical papillæ. The hectocotylus was not present. The buccal membrane is very large, has the usual seven points, connected by ligaments with the arms; each joint bears one or two suckers.


The Tentacles are almost equal in length to the head and body together; the stem is very slender, cylindrical, and grooved along the inner aspect; they taper way rapidly towards the extremity, no club being formed: the suckers cover on the distal eighth of the tentacle in its inner aspect: they are smaller than those of the sessile arms, and almost imperceptible to the naked eye; they are urn-shaped, and have a smooth horny ring, surrounded by about two rows of very small papillæ.


The Surface is covered with minute wrinkles, probably due to the action of the spirit.


The Colour is a very deep purplish brown.


The Gladius was unfortunately somewhat damaged; for the anterior two-thirds it resembles that of an Ommastrephes, but posteriorly it expands into a broad blade, resembling that of Loligo; it was impossible to ascertain whether it forms a terminal cone.


Hab. Southern Ocean (Station 147), 1600 fathoms. One specimen, sex?”



(Hoyle, 1885: 309-310)


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Source: Antarctic Invertebrates Website (NMNH)

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