Complete

Mastigoteuthis pyrodes Young, 1972

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
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Containing group: Mastigoteuthidae

Introduction


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

Brief diagnosis:

A mastigoteuthid ...

Figure at right. Dorsolateral view of a Mastigoteuthis, presumably M. pyrodes, off Southern California at 631 m depth with tentacles extended apparently feeding on plankton near the ocean floor. See "Behavior" on the Mastigoteuthidae page. Photograph © 2011 MBARI.

Characteristics

  1. Arms
    1. Arms III about 20% longer than arms I and nearly equal in length to arms II.

  2. Tentacles
    1. Suckers approximately uniform in size on club except near tip.
    2. Largest suckers of tentacular club about 0.3 mm in longest diameter.

  3. Head
    1. Beaks. Description of the beaks can found here in 2D.
    2. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here in 3D: Lower beak; upper beak.
    3. Funnel pocket present.

  4. Funnel
    1. Funnel locking-apparatus ear-shaped with strong tragus, antitragus virtually absent.
    2. Posterior border of funnel locking-apparatus not undercut (i. e., does not form a shelf) by oval depression of funnel groove; posterior tip of mantle component does not overlap posterior base (i. e., in profile, the mantle component does not have a hook-shape).
    3. 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. 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. Right-center - Frontal view of mantle component, same specimen. Right - Side view of mantle component, same specimen.

  5. Fins
    1. Fin length about 50-60% of ML.

  6. Tubercules
    1. Tubercules absent from the integument except in mature females.

  7. Photophores and pigmentation
    1. Integumental photophores present.
    2. Ringed chromatophores and white spheres absent (present in members of the M. agassizii-group - see that page for direct comparison with M. pyrodes).
    3. Eyelid photophore moderately large (much larger than integumental photophores), oval, present on anteroventral margin of eyelid; may be covered by chromatophores.
    4. Ocular photophores absent.
    5. Most pigment in closely-spaced chromatophores.
    6. 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. Lateral view of the eyelid photophore of M. pyrodes, 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.

Comments

Additional features of the description can be found here.

M. pyrodes has the following unusual features:

Since the integument and tentacles are often lost during capture, the form of the funnel locking-apparatus is frequently the most useful character in identification.

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, the large size of the club suckers, and the differences in the integument (abundant chromatophores, lack of ringed chromatophores and white spheres).

Life History

Paralarvae are unknown.

Two spent females (145 and 155 mm ML) are known from northern Hawaiian waters. They have a very dark reddish purple color and have rounded tubercules in the integument. 

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

Figure. Dorsal view of M. pyrodes, spent female, 145 mm ML, northern Hawaiian waters. Photograph by R. Young.

Skin tubercules are known only in these spent females (mature males are unknown). The rounded tubercules are easily visible under a dissecting microscope. They occur on the mantle, funnel, head and aboral surfaces of the arms as well as the dorsal surface of fins but the latter tubercules appear smaller in size. Integumental photophores remain in the spent females although they are not seen in the photographs below.

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

Figure. Mastigoteuthis pyrodes, 145 mm ML, spent female, northern Hawaiian waters, preserved. Left - External view of a piece of mantle skin, dissecting microscope. Right - Scanning electron micrograph of a similar piece of skin. Photographs by R. Young.

Distribution

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).

References

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
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Mastigotragus pyrodes
Comments Holotype
Sex Male
Life Cycle Stage Immature
View Ventral
Size 110 mm ML
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 1972
About This Page


University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA


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

Page: Tree of Life Mastigoteuthis pyrodes Young, 1972. 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. 2007. Mastigoteuthis pyrodes Young, 1972. Version 19 November 2007. http://tolweb.org/Mastigoteuthis_pyrodes/19523/2007.11.19 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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