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Adults of Onykia are medium-sized (275 mm ML) to very large (1600 mm ML) squids which are the largest members of the family. Only two genera of cephalopods, Architeuthis, the true giant squid, and Mesonychoteuthis, a cranchiid squid, grow to greater lengths than some species of Onykia. Species of Onykia are well known from high latitudes. Tropical species, however, are poorly known.

Figure. O. robusta aboard trawler, high North Pacific. Photographed by ?

Brief diagnosis:

An onychoteuthid ...

  • without gladius visible beneath skin in dorsal midline.
  • with 3 occipital folds.
  • without suckers on distal portion of club before terminal pad.


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