IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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  1. Arms and suckers

      Figure. Oral view of O. californiana, male, 70 mm ML, Japanese waters. Photograph from Taki (1963).

    1. Suckers enlarged in males in two fields;
    2. Sucker arrangement, arms II-IV (male): 1 small; 1 intermediate; 8-10 greatly enlarged; 5 (arms II) or 14 (arms III) or 12 (arms IV) much smaller; 20-30 minute.
    3. Sucker arrangement, arms I (male):1-2 minute; 1 intermediate; 8 greatly enlarged; 1 intermediate; 11-13 small; 1 intermediate; 6 greatly enlarged; 10-12 tiny.
  2. Head
    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.

The male specimens examined by Taki (1963) (see drawings below) had the following characteristics:

  1. Proximal field with suckers 4-11 enlarged (about 5-7 times those of the female); suckers 6 or 7 usually largest; all arms with equal enlargement.
  2. Distal field with 4-7 suckers enlarged, that correspond to sucker numbers 24-32; only arms I have a distal field.

Figure. Diagramatic arrangement of suckers of O. californiana, arms I (left - top; right - lower) and drawings of the proximal and distal portions of right arm I, note abnormal sucker near arm base. Drawings from Taki, 1963.


The above description is taken from Berry (1955) with the addition of a photograph and drawings from Taki (1963) of animals taken off Japan. More details of the description of O. californiana can be found here.

O. californiana and O. albatrossi are distinctive among species of Opisthoteuthis in having greatly enlarged suckers in the distal field only on arms I. The holotype of O. albatrossi is a young male and the proximal field may not have developed. These two species could be synonyms (Hochberg, pers. comm.)


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