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Galiteuthis glacialis (Chun 1906)

Richard E. Young and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Containing group: Galiteuthis


  1. Mantle tubercules
    1. Mantle-funnel fusion: Two elongate tubercules on each side of fusion with 2 or 3 cusps each (upper drawing).
    2. Mantle-nuchal fusion: Two small tubercules with 2-3 cusps on each side (lower drawing).
    3. Mantle surface: Rough with many rounded, cartilagenous tubercules in subadults (both drawings).
       image info

      Figure. Anterior mantle and head of G. glacialis, 333 mm ML, female. Left - Ventral view  showing tubercules at funnel fusion. Right - Dorsal view showing tubercules at nuchal fusion, same specimen. Drawings from Sweeny (1978).

  2. Tentacles
    1. Club with 10-12 hooks in subadults.
    2. Club manus with small lateral suckers.
       image info

      Figure. Oral view of tentacular club of G. glacialis, 297 mm ML, male. Drawing from Sweeny (1978).


The easiest means of identification is by the unusual arrangement of tubercules at the funnel and nuchal fusions, and the Antarctic habitat. More details of the description can be found here


Galiteuthis aspera Filippova, 1972 from the Scotia Sea, Antarctic waters, is a junior synonym of this species (McSweeny, 1980).

Life History

 image info  image info

Figure. Ventral views of G. glacialis. Top - 11 mm ML paralarva. Bottom - 54 mm ML juvenile. From Voss, 1980, printed with the Permission of the Bulletin of Marine Science.

The 11 mm paralarva (drawing on right) shows eyes on short stalks and extremely small, widely separated fins. At about 5-6 mm ML tubercules at the nuchal fusion can be detected. At 7 mm ML the tubercules at the funnel fusion can be detected. At 30 mm ML a well delineated club is present that bears four series of suckers.

At 54 mm ML the young G. glacialis (drawing on right) has eyes that have just become sessile and fins that approach that of the adult in shape (i.e. longer than wide). At 55-65 mm ML the hooks begin to develop on the tentacular clubs and well-formed hooks are present by just over 100 mm ML. At just over 100 mm ML tubercules can be detected on the mantle. At about 125 mm ML the ocular photophores are fully developed.


The type locality is listed by Chun (1906) as "Antarctic." The distribution of this species is found throughout the circum-polar Antarctic waters where it is one of the most abundant squids (Nesis, 1982). A map from the British Antarctic Survey showing the distribution can be seen here.


Chun, C. 1906. System der Cranchien. Zool. Anz., 31: 82-86.

McSweeny, E. S. 1978. Systematics and morphology of the Antarctic cranchiid squid Galiteuthis glacialis (Chun). Antarctic Res. Ser., 27:1-39.

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.

Voss, N. A. 1980. A generic revision of the Cranchiidae (Cephalopoda; Oegopsida). Bull. Mar. Sci., 30: 365-412.

Title Illustrations
Scientific Name Galiteuthis glacialis
Reference from McSweeny, E. S. 1978. Systematics and morphology of the Antarctic cranchiid squid Galiteuthis glacialis (Chun). Antarctic Res. Ser., 27:1-39.
View Ventral
Size 297 mm ML
Copyright © 1978 E.S. McSweeny
Scientific Name Galiteuthis glacialis
Comments with 15 cm ruler
View dorsal
Copyright © 1999 M. Vecchione
About This Page

Richard E. Young

Dept of Oceanography
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Mangold (1922-2003), Katharina M. 1999. Galiteuthis glacialis (Chun 1906). Version 01 January 1999 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Galiteuthis_glacialis/19572/1999.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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