Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

Species of Teuthowenia are moderate-sized (140-380 mm gladius length), midwater cranchiids. Each species occupies a separate region of the world's oceans where primary productivity is relatively high. Paralarvae occupy near-surface waters until they reach a relatively large size of 50-100 mm ML.

Figure. Lateral view of T. megalops in the "cockatoo" posture. Video still frame from a videotape recorded in-situ (Vecchione and Roper, 1991), JOHNSON SEA-LINK I submersible dive 2141; 4 August 1987; New England; depth = 789 m; temp. = 4.8° C; ML = 137 mm. An AVI format video clip of this animal is available at Cephalopods in Action

Brief diagnosis:

A taoniin ...

  • with three photophores on eyeball.
  • with anterior third of fins attaching to mantle.

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Comprehensive Description

Characteristics

  1. Tentacles
    1. Club with suckers.
    2. Stalk with four series of suckers and pads in distal 1/2 to 2/3.*

      Figure. Oral view of tentacle-cub of T. pellucida, 140 mm ML. Drawing from Voss (1985, p. 43. fig. 12g).

  2. Funnel
    1. Funnel valve absent.
    2. Funel organ: Dorsal pad with three papillae.

      Figure. View of funnel organ of T. maculata, 123 mm ML. Drawing from Voss (1985, p. 33, fig.8f).

  3. Mantle
    1. Tubercles present (1-4) at funnel-mantle fusion.

      Figure. Ventral view of tubercule at funnel-mantle fusion of T. maculata, 123 mm ML. Drawing from Voss (1985, p. 33, 8e).

  4. Fin
    1. Anterior third or more inserts on mantle (in subadults) rather than shell-sac of gladius.***

      Figure. Ventral view of the fin of T. megalops, showing fin shape. Photograph by M. Vecchione.


  5. Photophores
    1. Three photophores on each eye.**
    2. Photophores present on all arm tips of mature females.

      Figure. Left - Ventral and lateral views of an eye of T. maculata, 123 mm ML, showing ocular photophores. from Voss (1985, p. 33, fig. 8c,d). Right - Ventral view of the eyes of T. megalops, 134 mm ML, North Atlantic. Photographed during the MarEco cruise on the R/V G. O. SARS by R. Young.

*Unique in family but see Bathothauma and Megalocranchia.
**Unique in family.
***Unusual in family; shared with Egea.

Comments

Characteristics are from Voss (1980).

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Distribution

The three species appear to have non-overlapping distributions (Voss, 1985). Teuthowenia megalops occupies the subarctic and temperate waters of the north Atlantic Ocean. Teuthowenia maculata is found in the tropical waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Teuthowenia pellucida occupies circum-global waters in the region of the subtropical convergence in the southern hemisphere.

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 108 specimens in 5 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 100 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2.5 - 3070
  Temperature range (°C): 2.164 - 23.791
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.122 - 38.553
  Salinity (PPS): 34.336 - 36.637
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.831 - 6.356
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.028 - 2.832
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.705 - 117.845

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2.5 - 3070

Temperature range (°C): 2.164 - 23.791

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.122 - 38.553

Salinity (PPS): 34.336 - 36.637

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.831 - 6.356

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.028 - 2.832

Silicate (umol/l): 0.705 - 117.845
 
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 best known species is T. pellucida. Juveniles begin an ontogenetic descent reaching bathypelagic depths as adults where they mate and spawn. Peculiar glands develop on the mantle of females at maturity that may produce a pheromone (Voss, 1985). In the dark, spacious waters of the bathypelagic zone locating a mate can be difficult. Presumably the production of a chemical attractant (pheromone) combined with the luminescence provided by the arm-tip photophores solves this problem. During mating discharged spermatophores (spermatangia) attach to the dorsal surface of the female then penetrate through the mantle wall and apparently discharge sperm into the mantle cavity (Voss, 1985). Females apparently spawn once then die.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:3Public Records:1
Specimens with Sequences:3Public Species:1
Specimens with Barcodes:3Public BINs:1
Species:3         
Species With Barcodes:3         
          
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Teuthowenia

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Teuthowenia

Teuthowenia is a genus of glass squid in the subfamily Taoniinae. Members of this genus are characterized by their deep-sea habitat, clear bodies, and ability to engorge themselves with water to become larger when threatened. Each known species has a visible digestive gland, which serves a similar purpose as a stomach and liver.

It includes three species:[1]

  • Teuthowenia maculata (Leach, 1817) - found in the tropical waters of the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
  • Teuthowenia megalops (Prosch, 1849) - found in the subarctic, temperate, and (rarely) subtropical waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean.
  • Teuthowenia pellucida (Chun, 1910) - found throughout the oceans of the southern hemisphere.

References

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