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Histioteuthis reversa (Verrill, 1880)

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
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Holotype: female, 51 mm ML. Deposited in the NMNH #574849.
Containing group: Histioteuthidae

Introduction

H. reversa is one of the most common species of histioteuthids in the North Atlantic. Its range extends into the eastern South Atlantic. The length of the gladius in the largest recorded female is 183 mm (Voss, 1969). Like many histioteuthids, major morphological changes occur at sexual maturity. In this species the females become much more elongate and develop an additional array of photophores.

Characteristics

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

  2. Photophores
    1. Large, compound photophores with posteriorly directed reflectors.
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      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Anteroventral mantle photophores of H. reversa, 29 mm ML, central North Atlantic, R/V G.O. SARS, MarEco cruise. Arrow points to the posterior reflector of one of the photophores. Photograph by R. Young.

    2. Arms IV with 4 longitudinal series of photophores on arm base (3 series of large photophores, dorsal series of small photophores
      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. Ventral view of the base of arm IV of H. reversa, 29 mm ML, central North Atlantic, R/V G.O. SARS, MarEco cruise. Arrows point to the dorsal series of small photophores. Photograph by R. Young.

    3. Terminal group of large photophores on arms absent.

Comments

More details of the description can be found here.

Species of the reversa-group are distinguished by the following characters:

  1. Compound photophores
    1. Large and small photophores intermixed on ventral surface of mantle .
    2. 18 photophores (17 large and 1 small) around right eyelid.
  2. Beak
    1. Weakly developed median ridge on each lateral wall.
  3. Tubercles
    1. Absent.

H. reversa is most easily separated from other members of the reversa group by (1) the arrangement of photophores on arms IV (H. atlantica - 4 series, dorsal series of mixed sizes; H reversa - 4 series, dorsal series of small sizes; H. eltaninae - 3 series) and (2) from H. atlantica by the absence of simple, arm-tip photophores and from H. eltaninae by the short connective complex in their spermatophores and the presence of posterior reflectors (not described for H. eltaninae) on compound photophores.

The above information is from Voss (1969) and Voss, et al. (1998).

Nomenclature

H. elongata (Voss and Voss, 1962), described from a mature female, is a junior synonym (Voss, et al., 1998).

Life History

This series of drawings shows the remarkable elongation in shape of the female at maturity and the maturity-related increase in numbers of simple photophores (dark spots) on the mantle (Voss, et al., 1998)

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Figure. Ventral views of growth stages of H. reversa. Top - 39 mm ML, same as title illustration. Middle - 85 mm GL, mature male, 43° 20'N, 59° 27'W. Bottom - 183 mm ML, mature female, 39° 21'N, 70° 41'W. Drawings from Voss, et al. (1998).

The drawings below show the abundance of simple, dark photophores on the head of mature males. To the left is a ventral view, 89 mm ML and to the right is a dorsal view, 107 mm GL (Voss, et al., 1998). These dark photophores are apparent in photographs of a mature male.

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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Figure. Ventral and dorsal views of the head of a mature male H. reversa. Left - Ventral view, 89 mm ML, 10° 52'N, 22° 09'W. Right - Dorsal view of the head of a mature male, 107 mm GL, 42° 55'N, 62° 13'W. Drawings from Voss, et al., 1998.

Distribution

Geographical distribution

H. reversa occurs throughout much of the Atlantic Ocean but is absent from the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the South Subtropical Region. Voss, et al. (1998) suggest that the abundance of H. reversa near slopes and submarine topography is related to a preference for high productivity waters.

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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Figure. Distribution chart of H. reversa. Modified from Voss, et al. (1998).

References

Voss, N. A. 1969. A monograph of the Cephalopoda of the North Atlantic: The family Histioteuthidae. Bull. Mar. Sci., 19: 713-867.

Voss, N.A., K. N. Nesis, P. G. Rodhouse. 1998. The cephalopod family Histioteuthidae (Oegopsida): Systematics, biology, and biogeography. Smithson. Contr. Zool., 586(2): 293-372.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Histioteuthis reversa
Location Central North Atlantic
Comments Photographed aboard the R/V G. O. SARS, Mar-Eco cruise.
View Ventral
Size 29 mm ML
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 2004
Scientific Name Histioteuthis reversa, Histioteuthis reversa (2)
Location 41° 27''N, 27° 35''W, 41° 27''N, 27° 35''W (2)
Reference from Voss, N. A. 1969. A monograph of the Cephalopoda of the North Atlantic: The family Histioteuthidae. Bull. Mar. Sci. 19:713-867. printed with permission
Sex m, m (2)
View ventral, dorsal (2)
Size 39 mm ML, 39 mm ML (2)
Copyright © 1969 Bulletin of Marine Science
About This Page
Drawings by Voss (1969) printed with the Permission of the Bulletin of Marine Science.


University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA


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

Page: Tree of Life Histioteuthis reversa (Verrill, 1880). Authored by Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione. 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. and Michael Vecchione. 2010. Histioteuthis reversa (Verrill, 1880). Version 15 August 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Histioteuthis_reversa/19791/2010.08.15 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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