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Cirroctopus Naef, 1923

Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young
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The following four species are included in Cirroctopus.
Containing group: Opisthoteuthidae

Introduction

Members of Cirroctopus are more muscular than is typical for cirrate octopods. The fins are extremely large and the eyes tilt dorsally. Members of the genus are restricted to high latitudes of the southern hemisphere. Cirroctopus is probably the most distinctive of the four opisthoteuthid genera.

Brief diagnosis:

An opisthoteuthid ...

Characteristics

  1. Arms and web
    1. Suckers not enlarged in males.
    2. Sucker aperature without tooth-like structures.
    3. Cirrus length comparable to largest sucker diameter.
    4. Web nodules absent.

  2. Head
    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.

  3. Fins
    1. Fins long (greater than body width) and very broad.

  4. Mantle cavity
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      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Left - Diagram of G. glacialis with the ventral wall of the mantle cavity removed to show fusion of the mantle septum with the posterior mantle wall. Drawing from Vecchione and Young, 1997. Right - Ventral view of preserved gill of G. glacialis. Photograph by R. Young.

    1. Mantle septum fused posteriorly with mantle wall. (This is a unique feature within the Octopoda.)
    2. Gill (photograph above right) with half-orange appearance and with characteristic zig-zag arrangement of secondary lamellae.

  5. Digestive tract
    1. Caecum nearly equal to or much larger than stomach.
    2. Intestine long (ca. 2.5 times esophagus length) with a variety of right-angle turns.
    3. Unilobular digestive gland.
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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Side view of the digestive tract of C. glacialis with the complex orientation of the intestine. The label "bend" indicates a sharp bend in the intestine toward the viewer that isn't otherwise clearly apparent. Drawing from Vecchione and Young, 1997.

  6. Nephridial sacs
    1. Nephridial sacs extensive.
    2. Nephridial sacs with glandular lining on walls of sacs in additional to renal appendages.

  7. Pigmentation
    1. Areolar spots present in young and near eyes and base of fins in adults.

  8. White body, optic lobe and optic-nerve tract
    1. White bodies meet in dorsal midline.
    2. Numerous optic nerve bundles penetrate white body.
    3. Optic lobe kidney-shaped in cross-section.
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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Optic lobe with optic nerve bundles penetrating white body of G. hochbergi. Drawing from O'Shea, 1999.

  9. Shell
      Shell V-shaped with long wings and short saddle.
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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Dorsal and ventral views of the shell of G. glacialis, stained, preserved. Photograph  by R. Young.

Comments

The four species of Cirroctopus are poorly differentiated at present. Although a few potentially differentiating characters are known, identification must rely heavily on geographic location until the species are better known.

Distribution

 Species of Cirroctopus are known only from Antarctic and Subantarctic waters.
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Figure. Distribution chart of Cirroctopus spp. Blue dots: C. hochbergi. Red dots: C. glacialis. Yellow dot: C. mawsoni. Open squares: Cirrates identified as C. mawsoni by O'Shea (1999). Chart modified slightly from O'Shea (1999).

References

O’Shea, Steve. 1999. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 112: 280pp.

Vecchione, M. and R. E. Young. 1997 Aspects of the functional morphology of cirrate octopods: locomotion and feeding. Vie Milieu 47(2):101-110.

Voss, G. L. and W. G. Pearcy. 1990. Deep-water octopods (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) of the Northeastern Pacific. Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. 47: 47-94.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Grimpoteuthis sp.
Creator E. McSweeny
View Left, lateral
Copyright © E. McSweeny
Scientific Name Grimpoteuthis glacialis
Reference Vecchione, M. and R. E. Young. 1997 Aspects of the functional morphology of cirrate octopods: locomotion and feeding. Vie Milieu 47(2):101-110.
View Right, ventral
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 1997
About This Page


National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C. , USA

Richard E. Young
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Page: Tree of Life Cirroctopus Naef, 1923. Authored by Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Vecchione, Michael and Richard E. Young. 2010. Cirroctopus Naef, 1923. Version 27 June 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Cirroctopus/20103/2010.06.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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