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These are common meso- to bathypelagic octopods of rather small size (ca. 85 mm ML in the largest species) that are broadly distributed mostly in tropical to temperate latitudes of all oceans. They have gelatinous bodies, numerous chromatophores and possess short arms with a single series of suckers. The mantle aperture is wide. The hectocotylus has a swollen ligula in Bolitaena but is unknown in Japetella.

Brief diagnosis:

An incirrate octopod ...

  • with ctenoglossan radula.
  • with laterally compressed eyes.


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