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Batoteuthidae Young and Roper, 1968

Batoteuthis skolops Young and Roper, 1968

The Bush-club Squid

Richard E. Young and Clyde F. E. Roper
Only this single species is known in the family.
Containing group: Chiroteuthid families


Batoteuthis scolops is found only in Antarctic waters and little is known of its biology. It has a small head, a long tail and a very peculiar tentacle with six series of suckers on the club. It reaches a size of at least 35 cm ML.


A member of the chiroteuthid families ...


  1. Arms
    1. Suckers in two series.

  2. Tentacular club
    1. Suckers in six series.
       image info

      Figure. Oral view of tentacular club, B. scolops, holotype, 51 mm ML. Drawing from Young and Roper (1968).

  3. Funnel
    1. Funnel locking-apparatus is distinctly curved.

    2.  image info

      Figure. Funnel/mantle locking-aparatus of B. scolops. Left - Ventral view of funnel component. Right - Dorsal view of mantle component. Drawings by A. Hart.

  4. Fins
    1. Short (about 20% of ML).

  5. Tail
    1. Long secondary conus of gladius forms core of long, slender tail; length greatest in paralarvae.

  6. Photophores
    1. Large, subadult males with large aboral photophores occupying the tips of arms IV (see title illustration).
    2. Large, subadult females with small aboral photophores occupying the tips of arms IV.


More details of the description can be found here. The visceral nucleus is located far anteriorly within the mantle cavity.


The generic name means "thorn-bush" and refers to the bushy tentacular club. The trivial name refers to anything pointed, a reference to the pointed tail.

A list of all nominal genera and species in the Batoteuthidae 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.

Life History

The smallest known individual is 30 mm ML and the largest, 350 mm ML. Within this range a few growth stages have been described. Paralarval and mature individuals are unknown.

Figure. Growth stages of B. skolops. A - Ventral view of subadult (holotype), 51 mm ML, Antarctic waters. B - Dorsal view of of juvenile, 30 mm ML (not including tail), Antarctic waters. Note the long tail and small fins. C - Ventral view of same juvenile . Drawings from Young and Roper, 1968.


Type locality: South Pacific Ocean about 1000 km southeast of Wellington, New Zealand in the region of the Antarctic Convergence (49° 57'S; 169° 01'W). This species is found in Antarctic and adjacent waters.


Nesis, K. N. 1982. Abridged key to the cephalopod mollusks of the world's ocean. 385+ii pp. Light and Food Industry Publishing House, Moscow. (In Russian.). Translated into English by B. S. Levitov, ed. by L. A. Burgess (1987), Cephalopods of the world. T. F. H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ, 351pp.

Young, R. E. and C. F. E. Roper. 1968. The Batoteuthidae, a new family of squid (Cephalopoda; Oegopsida) from Antarctic waters. Antarctic Res. Ser. 2: 185-202.

Title Illustrations
Scientific Name Batoteuthis skolops
Location Antarctic waters
Creator A. D. Hart
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Identified By R. Young
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage Immature
View Ventral/dorsal
Size 350 mm ML (to tip of tail)
Copyright ©
About This Page

Richard E. Young

Dept of Oceanography
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Richard E. Young at

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Roper, Clyde F. E. 2004. Batoteuthidae Young and Roper, 1968. Batoteuthis skolops Young and Roper, 1968. The Bush-club Squid. Version 07 July 2004 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Batoteuthis_skolops/19452/2004.07.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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