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Galiteuthis phyllura Berry 1911

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


This may be the largest species of Galiteuthis if it reaches a length of 2.7 m ML as Nesis (1982) thinks. G. phyllura has been observed repeatedly by underwater vehicles. Hunt (1996) describes a behavior observed by an ROV that may be typical of many cranchiids. When disturbed, this squid hyperinflates the mantle with water and releases ink inside the mantle cavity. It thereby transforms itself from a nearly transparent squid into a very dark one.


 image info

Figure. Ventral view of cartilage with tubercules at funnel-mantle fusion, G. phyllura, 173 mm GL. Drawing from Young (1972).

  1. Photophores
    1. Medial (near lens) ocular photophore bar-shaped.

  2. Tubercules at fused locking apparatuses
    1. At mantle-funnel fusion: 2-4 small, conical tubercules.
    2. At mantle-nuchal fusion: none.


Additional features of the description can be found here.


Galiteuthis beringiana (Sasaki, 1920)is a junior synonym of this species (Nesis, 1982).

Life History

 image info

Figure. Growth stages of G. phyllura, ventral views. A - 170 mm GL. B - 33 mm GL. C - 79 mm GL. D - 13 mm GL. Note characteristic elongate chromatophores at anterior end of mantle. Drawings of life history stages from Young, 1972.


Geographical distribution

The type locality is Monterey Bay, California (temperate eastern North Pacific). Its distribution extends from off Baja California to the Bering Sea to off northern Japan (Nesis, 1982).


Hunt, J. C. 1996. The behavior and ecology of midwater cephalopods from Monterey Bay: Submersible and laboratory observations. Ph. D. Dissertation, Univ. Calif. Los Angeles. 231 pp.

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 Galiteuthis phyllura
Location off Southern California
Reference 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 170 mm GL
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 phyllura Berry 1911. Version 01 January 1999 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Galiteuthis_phyllura/19574/1999.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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Galiteuthis phyllura

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