go to the Tree of Life home page
Under Construction
This is an archived version of a Tree of Life page. For up-to-date information, please refer to the current version of this page.

Sepiolina Naef, 1912

Sepiolina nipponensis (Berry, 1911)

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
Containing group: Heteroteuthinae


Sepiolina nipponensis is a peculiar sepiolid whose characteristics place it between the Heteroteuthinae and the Sepiolinae. The tentacular club with a normal keel is similar to that of the Sepiolinae while the silvery sides, ventral shield and large visceral photophore are similar to those of the Heteroteuthinae. A better understanding of the features and habits of this species should greatly aid our understanding of the evolution within the family.


A heteroteuthin ...


  1. Arms
    1. Arms I of males with glandular structures along dorsal and ventral margins over most of arm length.
    2. Figure. Left - Oral view of left arms I-IV of S. nipponensis, mature male, 24 mm ML, Philippine waters. Drawing from Voss (1963). Right - Partial oral view of arms of a mature male, preserved, Japanese waters. Photograph by R. Young.

    3. Arms II and III, in males, with greatly enlarged suckers; suckers enlarged to a lesser extent on arms IV.
    4. Arms of females without obvious modifications.
    5. Figure. Oral views of brachial crowns of S. nipponensis, Japanese waters . Left - Mature male. Right - Mature female. Drawings from Sasaki (1929).

  2. Tentacles
    1. Keel extends full length of tentacular club (unlike other heterothins, a tentacular organ is lacking) however, the base of the keel is modified with a permanent fold.
    2. Figure. Side view of the club of S. nipponensis. preserved. Arrow points to the base of the keel which is folded over like the tentacular organ of other heteroteuthins. Photograph by R. Young.

  3. Head
    1. Ocular pore present unlike most (all?) other heteroteuthins.

  4. Funnel
    1. Funnel locking-apparatus with a deep, elongate anterior pit.
    2. Figure. Funnel/mantle locking apparatus of S. nipponensis, Suruga Bay, Japan, 35°N,138°E, NMNH 816246, left = anterior. Top - Frontal view of funnel component. Bottom - Side-oblique view of the mantle component. Photographs by M. Vecchione.

  5. Mantle
    1. Mantle fused to head dorsally; fusion narrower than head width.
    2. Ventral mantle shield extends almost entire length of mantle (see title photograph).
    3. Lateral mantle with broad, silver band.

      Figure. Side (top) and ventral views of preserved S. nipponensis, 23 mm ML, female (top), 15 mm ML, male (bottom),Japanese waters, showing the extent of the ventral shield. Photograph by R. Young.

  6. Fins
    1. Fins do not reach anterior or posterior margins of mantle.
    2. Figure. Dorsal view of a mature male S. nipponensis, ca. 19 mm ML, Japanese waters. Drawing from Sasaki, 1929.


Southern Japan, Philippines, southern Australia, upper slope (Nesis, 1982/87).


Nesis, K. N. 1982/87. 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.

Sasaki, M. 1929. A Monograph of the Dibranchiate Cephalopods of the Japanese and Adjacent Waters. Journal of the College of Agriculture, Hokkaido Imperial University, 20(supplement):357 pages.

Title Illustrations
Scientific Name Sepiolina nipponensis
Location Japanese waters
Reference Sasaki, M. 1929. A Monograph of the Dibranchiate Cephalopods of the Japanese and Adjacent Waters. Journal of the College of Agriculture, Hokkaido Imperial University, 20(supplement):357 pages.
Acknowledgements Photograph by R. Young
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Sex Male
View Side
Size ca. 17 mm ML
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. 2003. Sepiolina Naef, 1912. Sepiolina nipponensis (Berry, 1911). Version 30 November 2003 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Sepiolina_nipponensis/20034/2003.11.30 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

close box

This page is a Tree of Life Leaf Page.

Each ToL leaf page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a leaf at the tip of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a leaf and a branch of the Tree of Life is that a leaf cannot generally be further subdivided into subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box

Sepiolina nipponensis

Page Content




Explore Other Groups

random page