Complete

Teuthowenia pellucida (Chun 1910)

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

Introduction

Teuthowenia pellucida is a rather small squid that reaches a maximum size of about 200 mm ML. It occurs only in the southern hemisphere. Its systematics, biogeography and various aspects of its biology have been treated in detail by Voss (1985).

Characteristics

  1. Mantle
    1. Multipoint tubercle (2-4 points, occasionally 1-5 points) at each funnel-mantle fusion.
      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 tubercles at the funnel-mantle fusion of T. pellucida, subadult female, 140 mm GL.  Drawing from Voss, 1985.

  2. Arms
    1. Arms I of males with 2-3 series of suckers on modified tips.
    2. Arms II of males with 3-4 series of suckers on modified tips.
      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. Oral view of the entire arm II of a mature male of T. pellucida, 201 mm GL, with the distal third and proximal sixth modified. Drawing from Voss, 1985

    3. Arms I and II of males with 11-18 normal suckers in midportion of arm, proximal to modified ends but distal to modified basal suckers.
    4. Diameter of largest arm III suckers 2.5 times basal suckers (about 2.0-2.2% of GL in diameter).
  3. Tentacles
    1. Largest club suckers with 26-32 teeth.
      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. Largest sucker from manus of club of T. pellucida, female, 143 mm GL. Drawing from Voss, 1985.

Comments

More details of the description of T. pellucida can be found here.

Life history

Growth stages of T. pellucida.

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. A - 7 mm ML. B - 10 mm ML. C - 27 mm ML. D - 57 mm ML. E - 85 mm GL. F - Tentacle of 10 mm ML squid. Note that the club and stalk suckers are separated where a slight decrease in sucker size occurs. Superficially the tentacle appears to be an elongate club. This is an important feature in distinguishing Teuthowenia paralarvae from those of other cranchiid genera.

Mature females of T. pellucida (from Voss, 1995). Females mature between about 150 and 190 mm ML. At maturity the female undergoes marked morphological changes. The musculature becomes flaccid, the body is distended with mature eggs, photophores develop on the arm tips and glandular organs develop in the dorsal midline.The largest female measured by Voss was 201 mm ML. Mature females have nearly spherical eggs of 2.2 mm diameter. A single female carries about 6,000 - 8,000 eggs.

Figure.  View of dorsal mantle of T. pellucida showing glandular organs on midline, mature female, 201 mm GL. Drawing modified from Voss, 1985.

The series of small, glandular organs lies dorsal to the gladius at the anterior end of the mantle. The chambers of each organ open to the exterior via a hollow papilla. The function of these organs is unknown although Voss suggests that they secrete pheromones to attract males. Nearby spermatangia are commonly found embedded in the mantle tissue. This suggests another possible function for these organs: they may be seminal vesicles that store sperm derived from the spermatangia.

Mature females commonly have suckers encysted within tissues in the mantle cavity. Voss suggests that the suckers are lost from arms inserted into the mantle cavity by the male during mating behavior since the dentition of the two is identical. The photophores on the tips of arms IV (and probably the other arms but none of these have been seen intact) may function to attract males. Voss found pieces of body parts of T. pellucida in the stomachs of two mature females but refrained from concluding that cannabalism occurred during mating. The muscular deterioration, the near-absence of developing oocytes in mature females and possible cannabalism during mating suggests that the females are semelparous.

Males mature near 140 mm ML. Mature males have a long penis that extends well beyond the opening to the mantle cavity. At maturity the modified tips of arms I and II elongate. The finely-toothed suckers from these tips are commonly missing, presumably lost within the mantle cavity of some female. Also, at maturity the basal arm suckers become modified and the arms become more robust.

Distribution

Vertical distribution

Immature squid have been taken mostly in the upper 900 m of the water column while mature squid have been taken from depths of 1600 - 2400 m (Voss, 1985).

Geographical distribution

T. pellucida is found in a narrow circumglobal band in the region of the Southern Subtropical convergence about 40° S. lat.; this area is thought to be a distinct zoogeographical region (Voss, 1985).

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

Geographical distribution map modified from Voss, 1985.

References

Voss, N. A. 1980. A generic revision of the Cranchiidae (Cephalopoda; Oegopsida). Bull. Mar. Sci. 30: 365-412.

Voss, N. A. 1985. Systematics, biology and biogeography of the cranchiid cephalopod genus Teuthowenia (Oegopsida). Bull. Mar. Sci. 36: 1-85.

Title Illustrations
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
Scientific Name Teuthowenia pellucida
Reference Voss, N. A. 1985. Systematics, biology and biogeography of the cranchiid cephalopod genus Teuthowenia (Oegopsida). Bull. Mar. Sci. 36: 1-85.
Sex Female
Life Cycle Stage subadult
View dorsal, ventral
Size 140 mm GL
Type hypotype
Copyright © 1985 Bulletin of Marine Science
About This Page
Drawing from Voss (1985) printed with the Permission of the Bulletin of Marine Science.


University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-Sur-Mer, France

Page: Tree of Life Teuthowenia pellucida (Chun 1910). Authored by Richard E. Young and Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003). 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 Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003). 2006. Teuthowenia pellucida (Chun 1910). Version 10 July 2006. http://tolweb.org/Teuthowenia_pellucida/19615/2006.07.10 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
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

Teuthowenia pellucida

Page Content

articles & notes

collections

people

Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page
top