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Cirroctopus antarctica (Kubodera & Okutani, 1986)

Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young
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Containing group: Cirroctopodidae


Cirroctopus antarctica was described from two octopods and is known only from these animals.


  1. Shell

    Kubodera and Okutani (1986) describe the shell as follows: "The [shell] is broadly U-shaped. both rami, particularly at postero-lateral portion, are widened The posteriormost connective of both rami seems to be weaker than the remaining area." The original drawing is seen below and a recent photograph of the same shell is seen on the right.

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

    Figure. The shell of C. antarctica, paratype. Left - Drawing from Kubodera and Okutani, 1986. Right - Photograph by T. Kubodera.

  2. Pigmentation

    The title photographs suggests that the oral surface of C. antarctica has the same odd pigmentation as C. glacialis.

  3. Measurements and counts
    Characters: Measurements in mm Holotype Paratype
    Sex ? Female
    Mantle length 91; 94 180
    Mantle width 95; 69 135
    Head width 45 100
    Fin length 80; 67 70
    Fin width 40; 30 33
    Lengths and counts Left/Right Left/Right
    Arms I 200/200; 232/245 310/300
    Arms II 220/220; 253/255 310/280
    Arms III 225/220; 235/231 320/350
    Arms IV 220/215; 236/230 300/260
    Web sector A 110 140
    Web sector B 105/95 160/160
    Web sector C 110/100 150/160
    Web sector D 110/105 160/155
    Web sector E 55 110
    Arm I sucker counts (right; left/right) 72; 55/65 76
    Arm II sucker counts 73; 64/64 73
    Arm III sucker counts 69; 58/65 78
    Arm IV sucker counts 73; 55/63 55+
    Measurements and counts to the left of the semicolon are from Kubodera and Okutani (1986) and those to the right of the semicolon are from O'Shea (1999).


Kubodera and Okutani stated that this species differed from C. mawsoni by having subequal arms (this character would also separates it from all other members of the genus which have distinctly shorter ventral arms). The two octopods in the type series of C. antarctica were not in good condition and arm measurements can be very inaccurate. Arm size, however, remains a possible distinguishing character. The authors state that this species differs from C. glacialis by the shell which is very broad in posterolateral regions and the "well chitinized" beak. There appears to be no real difference in beak chitinization. The shell, however, does pose a problem. A photograph (see above) of the same gladius no longer, at least, appears to be distinctive as originally described but does seem to differ in some respects to the shell of C. glacialis (see that page). Unfortunately the degree of variation of the shell in both species is unknown. O'Shea (1999) considered this species to be a probable synonym of C. glacialis. We suspect that he is correct.


Type locality: 62° 59'S, 62° 09'W, 804 m depth. The paratype was collected at 61° 23'S, 55° 11'W, 509-525 m depth.


Kubodera, T. and T. Okutani. 1986. New and Rare Cephalopods from the Antarctic Waters. Memoirs of National Institute of Polar Research, Special Issue, 44:129-143.

O’Shea, Steve. 1999. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 112: 280pp.

Vecchione, M., U. Piatkowski and A. L. Allcock. 1998. Biology of the cirrate octopod Grimpoteuthis glacialis (Cephalopoda; Opisthoteuthidae) in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. S. Afr. J. Mar. Sci. 20: 421-428.

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Cirroctopus antarcticus
Scientific Name Cirroctopus antarctica
About This Page

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

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Page: Tree of Life Cirroctopus antarctica (Kubodera & Okutani, 1986). Authored by Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young. 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:

Vecchione, Michael and Richard E. Young. 2016. Cirroctopus antarctica (Kubodera & Okutani, 1986). Version 27 February 2016 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Cirroctopus_antarctica/20108/2016.02.27 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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