Pterygioteuthis microlampas and P. gemmata are very similar but are most easily separated by the smaller size of adult P. microlampas and fewer number of hooks on the arms of males of this species (Riddell, 1985).
- Hectocotylus (left arm IV) plate with many small teeth.*
Figure. Upper left - P. gemmata toothed plates from the hectocotylus of two males from off California (redrawn from Young, 1972) and from one male from off New Zealand (redrawn from Riddell, 1985). Bottom left - P. microlampas toothed plates from two males from off New Zealand (redrawn from Riddell, 1985). Right - A cleared hectocotylus of P. microlampas from Hawaiian waters showing the toothed plate. Black dots throughout the arm tissue are artifacts. Photograph by R. Young.
- Arms I, II and III with hooks in ventral series only.*
- Arms IV of males and females with suckers.*
- 6-12 hooks on combined lateral arms (arms II and III on one side) in males.
- Hectocotylus (left arm IV) plate with many small teeth.*
- Tentacles with four embedded photophores.*
- Eye with 10 large (9 visible on left eye of photograph) and four small photophores (visible on right eye of photograph).*
Figure. Ventrolateral view of the head, arms and tentacles of a preserved and cleared P. microlalmpas (18 mm ML, female, off Hawaii). The white tentacular photophores are clearly visible on both tentacles. The only ocular photophore that cannot be seen is the one posterior to the lens. Photograph by R. Young.
- Females mature at 18-20 mm ML; males at 17 mm ML (Riddell, 1985).
- Maximum length about 23 mm ML.
* Characters shared with P. gemmata.
In Hawaiian waters P. microlampas is found mostly between depths of 450-500m during the day and 50-100 m at night (Young, 1978).
Figure. Vertical distirbution of P. microlampas, Hawaiian waters. Yellow dots - Modal depth of trawl, day capture. Blue dots - Modal depth of trawl, night capture. Bars - Depth range of trawl. Chart modified from Young, 1978.
This species was first described from Hawaiian waters (Berry, 1913) and has since been reported from waters near New Zealand north of the tropical convergence (ca. 28° S. Lat.). At this locality it barely overlaps with the more southernly P. gemmata as seen in the data from Riddell (1985).
Figure. Geographical distribution of Pterygioteuthis spp. near New Zealand. Yellow circles represent captures of P. gemmata and white triangles captures of P. microlampas. Chart modified from Riddell, 1985.
The world map shows some of the general localities (white circles) where P. microlampas has been captured. Localities where pyroteuthids, other than this species, have been captured are represented by yellow crosses. Only one record per general locality is included (records listed here). P. microlampas presumably occurs throughout much of the tropical Pacific but seems to be absent from the Eastern Tropical Pacific. No regional differences in taxonomic characteristics are known.
Habitat and Ecology
Off Hawaii, this small species appears to undergo diel vertical migration occurring at mesopelagic depths (450-500 m) by day, before ascending to near surface depths (50-100 m) at night to feed (Lindgren, Young and Mangold 2011), probably on copepods and small crustaceans (Lindgren et al. 2008). This species has planktonic paralarval young (Lindgren, Young and Mangold 2011) and like Pterygioteuthis gemmata probably has a short life span (i.e. up to 78 days for P. gemmata) (Lindgren et al. 2008). Little is known about the biology and ecology of this species.
Life History and Behavior
Figure. Ventral view of paralarval P. microlampas, 2.9 mm ML. Drawing modified from Young, et al., 1992.
Young paralarvae are most easily recognized by:
- Large, dark chromatophore at the base of the tentacular club.
- Small size of the ocular photophores.
- Pair of chromatophores of the ventral surface of the funnel (present only in advanced paralarvae; colored grey in the illustration as it is hidden beneath the mantle).
- Numerous chromatophores on the mantle.
Although paralarvae are easily damaged in plankton nets, character number 1 is usually apparent. Compare with paralarvae of Pterygioteuthis giardi and Pyroteuthis addolux.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Pterygioteuthis microlampas
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pterygioteuthis microlampas
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Pterygioteuthis microlampas is an oceanic species which has been assessed as Least Concern, as it has a wide geographic distribution making it less susceptible to human impact. However, further research is recommended in order to determine the precise distribution, population dynamics, life history and ecology, and potential threat processes affecting this species.
Pterygioteuthis microlampas is a species of squid in the family Pyroteuthidae. They occur from northern New Zealand oceans to the Hawaiian Islands, but they do not overlap with the species P. gemmata, which lives in more southern waters. While there are numerous similarities between these two species, they are separated by the smaller mature size of P. microlampas (maximum mantle length of 23 mm) and the fewer number of hooks on males. The species reproduce sexually during the late autumn to early winter, producing eggs with a diameter of 0.9 mm. 
- Reproductive Data for Pterygioteuthis microlampas, 14 November 2008.
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