Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

This pelagic species occupies near-surface waters (at least at night) in the temperate regions of the world's oceans. The females are large with a mantle length up to 310 mm (Roper and Sweeny, 1976). The mantle is very muscular and the octopod, presumably, is an excellent swimmer. The ventral and dorsal arms are much longer than the lateral arms. Females of Ocythoe are one of the few known cephalopods with a true swimbladder (Packard and Wurtz, 1994) and the only known cephalopods that are ovoviviparous (i.e., give birth to live young that hatch internally) (Naef, 1923). A pair of water pores at the base of the ventral arms lead to extensive water-filled spaces between the eyes and arm bases. In subadult and adult females the ventral surface of the mantle has permanent ridges formimg a reticulate pattern. Males are dwarfs with a mantle length of about 30 mm.

Figure. Lateral view of a young female O. tuberculata, 71 mm ML, in a shipboard aquarium showing ridges and tubercules on the ventral half of the mantle. Photograph by U. Piatkowski, taken aboard the R/V G.O. SARS during the MAR-ECO expedition, 2004, at 50°N, 28°W.

Brief diagnosis:

An argonautoid ...

  • with relatively arms II and III much shorter than arms I and IV.
  • with reticulate ridge pattern on ventral surface of mantle in females.

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Comprehensive Description

Nomenclature

A list of all nominal genera and species in the Ocythoidae can be found here. The list includes the current status and type species of all genera, and the current status, type repository and type locality of all species and all pertinent references.

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Characteristics

  1. Arms
    1. Arms II and III much shorter than arms I and IV.
    2. Hectocotylus (see Comments below)
      1. Hectocotylus contained in sac extending from base of right arm III in males.
      2. Hectocotylus lacks papillate lateral fringes.

  2. Sexual dimorphism
    1. Males dwarf.

  3. Head
    1. Water pores present at base of arms IV in both sexes (see Ocythoe: Additional Features).
    2. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.
    3. Radua without greatly reduced first lateral teeth.
    4. Radula with strong secondary cusp on each first lateral tooth.

      Figure. View of the radula of O. tuberculata. Drawing from Naef (1921-1923).

  4. Mantle
    1. Reticulate pattern of ridges on ventral surface of mantle in females (see photograph).

  5. Funnel
    1. Locking-apparatus formed by permanent, turgid and strongly recurved corners of funnel (see drawing).

  6. Viscera
    1. Swimbladder present in females (see Ocythoe: Additional Features).

  7. Reproduction
    1. Ovoviviparous.

Comments

More details about the hectocotylus, water pores and swimbladder can be found here.

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Distribution

Western Atlantic: Massachusetts to the West Indies
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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cosmopolitan, temperate-tropical
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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This species is found throughout the temperate latitudes of the world's oceans (Roper and Sweeny, 1976). This suggest that separate populations exist but the population structure has not been investigated. In the North Pacific large female O. tuberculata have been commonly caught in drift nets set in the upper 10 m of the water at night (M. Seki, pers. comm.); the daytime habitat is unknown.

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Ecology

Habitat

Known from seamounts and knolls
  • Stocks, K. 2009. Seamounts Online: an online information system for seamount biology. Version 2009-1. World Wide Web electronic publication.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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epipelagic
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Depth range based on 14 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 12 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 19.5 - 267
  Temperature range (°C): 9.072 - 21.506
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.244 - 21.256
  Salinity (PPS): 33.765 - 36.590
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.201 - 6.112
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.046 - 1.898
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 26.259

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 19.5 - 267

Temperature range (°C): 9.072 - 21.506

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.244 - 21.256

Salinity (PPS): 33.765 - 36.590

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.201 - 6.112

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.046 - 1.898

Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 26.259
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Life history

The eggs develop in the long, winding oviducts until hatching. The egg size is 0.9 X 2 mm and the chorion is drawn out into a hollow stalk even though a stalk no longer has a function (Naef, 1923). Eggs in the oviducts number at least 100,000 in a large female (Naef, 1923). Spawning is intermittent as eggs of various stages of development are present in the oviducts at any one time.

Figure. This cut-away drawing of the viscera of O. tuberculata shows the thick mantle muscle, the long, convoluted oviducts covering the ovary, the strong funnel-mantle locking apparatus and the pores to the water channels. Drawing modified from Naef, 1923.

Males are dwarfs and are sometimes found inhabitating the tests of salps as are young females (Naef, 1923; Okutani and Osuga, 1986). Little is known about this relationship.

Figure. Lateral views of a young O. tuberculata, apparently a female, residing within the test of the salp, Tethys vagina. Left - Photograph from off Japan a few hundred meters from shore by K. Osuga (published by Okutani and Osuga, 1986, courtesy of T. Okutani). Note that the salp does not seem to be intact. Right - A drawing, made from the photograph, clarifies the position of the octopod within the salp. Drawing from Okutani and Osuga, 1986.

The hatchling is easily recognized by the retarded development of the lateral arms which is characteristic of all stages

Figure. Lateral view of a hatchling O. tuberculata. Drawing from Naef (1921-23).

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Wikipedia

Ocythoe tuberculata

Ocythoe tuberculata, also known as the tuberculate pelagic octopus or football octopus, is a pelagic octopus. It is the only known species in the family Ocythoidae.

Ocythoe tuberculata is found in warm and temperate seas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, such as the North Pacific Ocean off California.

Description[edit]

The females are around 1 metre (3.3 ft) long when full-grown. The males are considerably smaller at around 10 centimetres (3.9 in).

As a species, they are unique among cephalopods in possessing a true gas bladder[citation needed]. They are also one of the only known ovoviviparous cephalopod species. It is relatively unresearched in terms of behaviour and life cycle.

Young females and mature males have been observed residing inside salps, although little is known about this relationship.

Gallery[edit]

Lower (left) and upper beaks of female Ocythoe tuberculata in lateral view
3d glasses red cyan.svg 3D red cyan glasses are recommended to view this image correctly.


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