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Gonatus madokai was described by Kubodera and Okutani (1977) based on a large holotype (329 mm ML) and two juvenile paratypes (72 mm DML) with three additional specimens (40-63 mm ML) collected from the subarctic waters of the northwestern North Pacific.
Morphological changes with growth of this species were well described (Kubodera and Okutani 1977). G. madokai is one of a few gonatids that can be identified almost throughout its life.
A Gonatus with ...
- pronouncedly long arms (ca. 90% of ML), long tail (ca. 20% of ML) and soft body.
- large fins (FL>1/2ML), sagittate with round sides (FW=83% of FL).
- tentacle club with a central large hook, a middle-sized hook distal to the central hook and five small hooks in a line proximal to the central hook.