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Mastigoteuthis pyrodes Young, 1972

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
Containing group: Mastigoteuthidae


M. pyrodes is a very distinctive species and the only species of Mastigoteuthis known off Southern California, U.S.A.


A mastigoteuthid ...


  1. Tentacles
    1. Largest suckers of tentacular club about 0.3 mm in longest diameter.
    2. Club suckers slightly elongate with 2-3 large knobs projecting into orifice of sucker from outer ring; few tiny distal teeth on inner ring.
    3. Figure. Tentacular club and club suckers of M. pyrodes, 102 mm ML, NMNH 727463. Left - Oral view of midregion of club. Right - Oral view of large club sucker. Photographs by R. Young.

      Scanning electron micrographs of the suckers can be seen here.

  2. Funnel/mantle locking-apparatus
    1. Funnel component with strong tragus on anteromedial side of broad oval depression.
    2. Funnel component with low antitragus rarely visible on posterior border.
    3. Funnel component with posterior border not undercut by the oval depression; posterior tip of mantle component does not overlap posterior base (ie, in profile, the mantle does not have a hook-shape).
    4.  image info

      Figure. Funnel/mantle locking-apparatus of M. pyrodes. Left - Frontal view of funnel component, holotype. Drawing from Young (1972). Left-center - Frontal view of funnel component, 102 mm ML, immature female, 28°53'N, 118°12'W, preserved, NMNH 727463.

  3. Photophores
    1. Integumental photophores present.
    2. Large oval photophore present on anteroventral margin of eyelid; may be covered by chromatophores.
    3. Figure. Lateral view of eyelid photophore, paratype, NMNH, 73 mm ML, 29°19'N, 119°21'W. Note the relative size of the eyelid photophore compared to the integumental photophores. Photograph by R. Young.


Additional features of the description can be found here.

M. pyrodes has the following unique features:

Since the integument is often lost during capture, the form of the funnel locking-apparatus is the most useful character.

M. pyrodes is easily separated from the Pacific integumental-photophore-bearing M. dentata by, in addition to the above features, the many (vs two) series of photophores on arms IV and the size, shape and ornamentation of the club suckers.


Type locality: 33°32'N, 118°23'W, off the coast of Southern California, Eastern North Pacific. Distribution: Off Southern California; northern Hawaiian waters (ca somewhere between 23°N-28°N).


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 Mastigoteuthis pyrodes
Comments Holotype
Sex Male
Life Cycle Stage Immature
View Ventral
Size 110 mm ML
Copyright © 1972 Richard E. Young
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

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Vecchione, Michael. 2004. Mastigoteuthis pyrodes Young, 1972. Version 28 February 2004 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Mastigoteuthis_pyrodes/19523/2004.02.28 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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