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Onychoteuthis banksii is the type species of the genus. At one point in time this species was considered to have a circumglobal distribution. We now recognize, however, that this species represents a complex of species. No useful diagnostic information was provided in the original description, and subsequent descriptions are unreliable due to uncertainty in correct identification. As a result, this species cannot be identified at present. However, the holotype exists (British Museum) and is in fair condition so, ultimately, identification should be possible.