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Echinoteuthis Joubin, 1933

Richard E. Young
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taxon links [up-->]Echinoteuthis famelica [up-->]Echinoteuthis glaukopis [up-->]Echinoteuthis danae [up-->]Echinoteuthis atlantica [up-->]Echinoteuthis tyroi [down<--]Mastigoteuthidae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Mastigoteuthidae


Only one species (E. famelica) in Echinoteuthis is well known. Each species of those known from subadults, is thought to occupy a different ocean: E. glaukopis - Indian Ocean; E. famelica - Pacific Ocean; E. atlantica - Atlantic Ocean. Two species (E. tyroi - Indian Ocean, and E. danae - Atlantic Ocean) are known only from paralarvae and may belong to the known species from their area.

Brief diagnosis:

Species of Echinoteuthis ...


  1. Arms
    1. Arms III distinctly longer than arms I.

  2. Tentacles
    1. Little variation in sucker size over most of tentacular club.
    2. Club suckers large; reach a diameter of 0.3-0.4 mm in large squid.

  3. Head
    1. Funnel pocket present.

  4. Funnel
    1. Funnel locking-apparatus ear shaped with large tragus and weak antitragus; posterior margin not undercut.

  5. Fins
    1. Fins slightly longer than broad (except, apparently in E. glaukopis).

  6. Tubercules
    1. Tubercules absent from integument except in paralarvae.

  7. Photophores and pigmentation
    1. Large round to oval photophore located on the anteroventral margin of each eyelid.
    2. No ocular or integumental photophores.
    3. Most pigment in closely-spaced chromatophores.
    4. Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Lateral view of the head of E. famelica showing the size of the eyelid photophore (arrow). The rather large eyelid photophore (length ca 2.3% of ML) may be hidden by pigmentation. Photograph by R. Young.


E. glaukopis is known only from the holotype which is small (37 mm ML including tail) and has lost all trace of pigment. At present its geographical distribution is the only feature known to separate it from the other two species. E. atlantica is also poorly known, however, it has relatively large trabeculate protective membranes on the tentacular clubs which separates it from E. famelica. The presence of E. danae and E. tyroi as members of Echinoteuthis has not been clearly established.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Mastigoteuthis glaukopis
Comments Side (top) and ventral views.
Reference Chun, C. 1910. Die Cephalopoden. Oegopsida. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee Expedition auf dem Dampfer "Valdivia" 1898-1899, 18(1):1-401.
View Dorsal and ventral
Size 37 mm ML
Type Holotype
About This Page

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

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

Page: Tree of Life Echinoteuthis Joubin, 1933. Authored by 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:

Young, Richard E. 2014. Echinoteuthis Joubin, 1933. Version 06 December 2014 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Echinoteuthis/65305/2014.12.06 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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