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Introduction

Members of the Ommastrephidae are small (about 10 cm ML) to large (about 100 cm ML), muscular squids that are often the dominant large squids in oceanic and, occasionally, neritic waters. A number of species are fished commercially.

Ommastrephid squids are among the strongest swimmers in the Cephalopoda. Some are commonly known as "flying squid" due to their ability to glide over the ocean surface as seen in the photographs.

Figure. A squid, presumably Ommastrephes bartramii, gliding over the sea surface near Japan. Left - The original photograph by Geoff Jones. Right - Enlarged and enhanced (by Geoff Jones) reproduction of the squid. Note the spread fins and the spread arms with extended membranes that apparently aid gliding. © Geoff Jones

Brief diagnosis

An oegopsid squid ...

  • with an inverted T-shaped funnel/mantle locking-apparatus.
  • with fused tentacles in paralarvae.

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