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Gonatus Gray, 1849

Richard E. Young, Michael Vecchione, and Tsunemi Kubodera
This genus contains the following 12 species:
taxon links [down<--]Gonatidae Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Gonatidae


Gonatus, the most speciose genus in the family, has its highest diversity in the high North Pacific. These squids reach a moderate size of 39 cm ML maximum.


A gonatid ...


  1. Arms
    1. Hooks in medial two armature series on arms I-III.

  2. Tentacles
    1. Tentacles present in subadults.
    2. Tentacular club with one or more hooks in median line; one greatly enlarged.
    3. Proximal locking-apparatus of club with suckers and knobs medial to 4-6 large ridges and grooves, and usually several smaller ones.
       image info

      Figure. Oral view of tentacular club of G. berryi. Photograph of preserved club by R. Young.

  3. Head
    1. Radula with 5 teeth in transverse row.

  4. Mantle
    1. Mantle tissue muscular or flabby depending on species.

  5. Fins
    1. Fins sagittate, drawn out posteriorly into a short tail.

  6. Photophores
    1. Ocular photophores present only in G. pyros.


Nesis, K. N. (1982). Abridged dey 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.

Okutani, T. and M. R. Clarke (1992). Family Gonatidae Hoyle, 1886. P. 139-156. In: Sweeney, M. J., C. F. E. Roper, K. M. Mangold, M. R. Clarke and S. V. Boletzky (eds.). "Larval" and juvenile cephalopods: a manual for their identification. Smiths. Contr. Zool., No. 513

Title Illustrations
Scientific Name Gonatus sp.
Location Northwest Atlantic
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Copyright © 2004
About This Page

Richard E. Young

Dept of Oceanography
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

National Marine Fisheries Service
Systematics Laboratory
National Museum of Natural History
Washington, D. C. 20560

Tsunemi Kubodera

National Science Museum, Tokyo, Department of Zoology 3-23-1 Hyakunin-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169 JAPAN

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Tsunemi Kubodera at

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E., Vecchione, Michael, and Kubodera, Tsunemi. 2004. Gonatus Gray, 1849. Version 01 January 2004 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Gonatus/19767/2004.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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