Figure. Side view of the tip of hectocotylus of V. richardi, Hawaiian waters. The hectocotylus has an unusual oval vesicle with a slender papilla at its tip. Photograph by R. Young
One of the most distinctive features of V. richardi is the nearly rectangular shape of each eye as is seen from the side. The elgonate shape of the eye is inhanced by a ventral appendage (rostrum) that helps to camouflage the eye.
Figure. Lateral side of the head of V. richardi showing the unusual shape of the eye. Photograph by R. Young.
The optic lobes have unusually long optic nerve stalks.
Figure. Dorsal view of the head of V. richardi showing the long optic stalks. Photograph by R. Young.
An incirrate pelagic octopod ...
- with heteroglossan radula.
- with left arm IV hectocotylized but not detachable.
- Suckers in single series, widely separated from one another.
- Left arm III hectocotylized; spherical vesicle present near tip.
- Mantle opening broad.
- Mantle opening broad.
- Viscera Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Radula of V. richardi.
Modified from S. Thore (1949).
- Radula with multicuspid rhachidian (with a-seriation) and unicuspid first and second lateral teeth (= heteroglossan radula) (drawing on right).
- Digestive gland long and slender, spindle-shaped.
- Stomach dorsal to digestive gland.
Figure. These pictures are from a video sequence taken from a submersible at about 900 m depth off Hawaii. A Vitreledonella drifted into view but clearly has too many arms. A closer look indicates that one octopus is within the web of another; presumably they are mating. Unfortunately, the hectocotylus cannot be identified. Photographs from Young, et al., 1999.
The females apparently brood their eggs within the mantle cavity until hatching (Joubin, 1937).
Figure. Vitreledonella richardi,
Figure. Vertical distribution of V. richardi. All captures were made with opening/closing trawls. Bars represent a capture and the bar length indicates the depth range of the trawl while open. Yellow bars indicate a daytime capture and blue bars a nighttime capture. Graph modified and redrawn from Clarke and Lu, 1975 and Lu and Clarke, 1975.
The geographical distribution of V. richardi is throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world's oceans (Nesis, 1982).
Clarke, M. R. and C. C. Lu. 1975. Vertical Distribution of cephalopods at 18 N 25 W in the North Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 55 (1): 165-182.
Joubin, L. 1918. Etudes preliminaires sur les cephalopodes recueillis au cours des croisieres de S.A.S. le Prince de Monaco, 6e Note: Vitreledonella richardi Joubin. Bull. Inst. Oceanogr. Monaco 340: 1-40.
Joubin, L. 1937. Les octopodes de la croisiere du "Dana" 1921-22. Dana Report, 11: 1-49.
Lu, C. C. and M. R. Clarke, 1975. Vertical Distribution of cephalopods at 11 N 20 W in the North Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 55 (2): 369-389.
Nesis, K. N. 1982. 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.
Roper, C. F. E., R. E. Young and G. L. Voss (1969). An illustrated key to the families of the order Teuthoidea. Smiths. contr. zool., 13:1-32.
Thore, S. 1949. Investigations on the "Dana" Octopoda. Dana-Report No. 33, 85pp.
Young, R. E., M. Vecchione and D. Donovan. 1999. The evolution of coleoid cephalopods and their present biodiversity and ecology. South African Jour. Mar. Sci..
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- First online 07 July 2013
- Content changed 07 July 2013
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Tree of Life Web Project. 2013. Vitreledonellinae http://tolweb.org/Vitreledonella_richardi/149589/2013.07.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Vitreledonella richardi . Version 07 July 2013 (under construction).