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Chiroteuthis calyx Young, 1972

Clyde F. E. Roper and Richard E. Young
The holotype is deposited in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, California.
Containing group: Chiroteuthis


C. calyx is known only from the temperate waters of the North Pacific. It is closely related to C. veranyi but is easily separated by the presence of globular arm suckers and differences in the structure of the proximal section of the protective membranes on the tentacular club.


A Chiroteuthis ...


  1. Arms
    1. Largest suckers with nearly smooth rings, proximal suckers with 18-20 separate, truncate teeth on distal 2/3 of ring.
    2. Largest suckers globular; largest suckers on arms III more than three times diameter of adjacent arm IV suckers.
  2. Tentacular clubs
    1. Suckers with 11-14 pointed teeth, with bases in contact, over distal 1/2-3/4 of ring; central tooth enlarged.
    2. Sucker stalks in two distinct parts (stalk diameters differ); stalks of suckers in lateral series much longer than those in medial series.
    3. Protective membranes
      1. Membranes in two distinct sets of about equal lengths, proximal set slightly broader.

        Figure. Aboral view of the tentacular club of C. calyx. Drawing from Young (1972).

      2. Proximal set with separate trabeculae (approx. 17), each split distally into two or three parts, except for initial one or two.
      3. Distal set with about 18 single, separate trabeculae.
  3. Photophores
    1. Eyeball: lateral series = stripe; medial series = stripe; intermediate series = one large round anterior, one large round posterior photophore and one small round photophore offset slightly medially near anterior photophore.
    2. Viscera: two photophores on ink sac.
  4. Pigmentation
    1. Club sucker stalks pleated, otherwise stalks unpigmented.


More details of the description are found here.


This species was originally described by Young (1972) for squids taken off Oregon, California and Baja California. Prior records of C. calyx (e.g., Berry, 1963; Pearcy, 1965) in these waters had been referred to C. veranyi, its close relative.

Life history

Paralarval stages are typical for the family. The late doratopsis paralarval stage attains a length of at least 60 mm ML (Berry, 1963). Paralarval behavior has been described by Vecchione, et. al., 1992.


Geographical distribution

Type locality - off Southern California. This species is found throughout the North Pacific Transition Zone from off Southern California to the Gulf of Alaska, across the North Pacific to off Honshu, Japan (Nesis, 1982; Seki, in prep.).


Berry, S. S. 1963. A “Doratopsis” larva of the squid family Chiroteuthidae in Californian waters. Calif. Fish. Game, 49: 128-139.

Pearcy, W. 1965. Species composition and distribution of pelagic cephalopods from the Pacific Ocean off Oregon. Pac. Sci., 19: 261-266.

Vecchione, M., B. H. Robison, and C. F.E. Roper. 1992. A tale of two species: tail morphology in paralarval Chiroteuthis (Cephalopoda: Chiroteuthidae). Proceeding of the Biological Society of Washington 105(4): 683-692.

Young, R. E. (1972). The systematics and areal distribution of pelagic cephalopods from the seas off Southern California. Smithson. Contr. Zool., 97: 1-159.

Title Illustrations
Scientific Name Chiroteuthis calyx
Creator D. Galli
Scientific Name Chiroteuthis calyx
Reference from Young, R. E. 1972. The systematics and areal distribution of pelagic cephalopods from the seas off Southern California. Smithson. Contr. Zool. 97:1-159.
Size 54 mm ML
About This Page

Richard E. Young

Dept of Oceanography
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Citing this page:

Roper, Clyde F. E. and Young, Richard E. 1999. Chiroteuthis calyx Young, 1972. Version 01 January 1999 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Chiroteuthis_calyx/19474/1999.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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