Cirroctopus glacialis Description Continued

Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young
  1. Arms and web
    1. Arm formula: I>II>III>IV.
    2. Web formula: A>B>C>D>E; sector E about half sector A.
    3. longest arm with 74 suckers.
    4. Cirri short (max. 5.5 mm in 78 mm ML male).
    5. 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 an arm segment of C. glacialis showing deeply embedded suckers. Photograph by R. Young.

  2. Eyes
    1. Eyes large with a distinct dorsal tilt.

  3. Funnel
    1. Funnel organ with broad V-shaped pad.
    2. 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 organ of C. glacialis. Drawing from Robson, 1930.

  4. Fins
    1. Fins massive; length equal to ML; width nearly 3/4  of fin length.

  5. Mantle cavity
    1. Mantle septum very thick, long; fused with posterior mantle wall.
    2. Gills half-orange shape.
    3. Gills with 6 primary lamellae (inner-most reduced in size).

  6. Optic lobe and nerves
    1. Optic lobe kidney shaped.
    2. Position of optic nerves unknown.

  7. Digestive tract
    1. Radula absent.
    2. Anterior salivary glands very small; posterior glands absent.
    3. Esophagus without distinct crop.
    4. Caecum much larger than stomach.
    5. Intestine not straight.
    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. Two views of the digestive tract of C. glacialis. Left - Drawing from Robson (1930). Right - Drawing from Vecchione and Young (1997).

  8. Beaks
    1. Beaks not described.

  9. Male reproductive system
    1. See: "Reproductive systems - cirrates" in glossary.

  10. Female reproductive system
    1. Female reproductive system with large oviducal gland approaching ovary in size. Largest mature eggs from distal oviduct 14x22 mm.

  11. Pigmentation
    1. Numerous areolae present in small animals; two pair present in adults.
    2. Holotype: Head, arms and dorsal surface of mantle bluish purple. Fins and undersurface of body more reddish.
    3. Distinctive color pattern on oral surface of arms and web (see C. glacialis species page).

  12. Measurements and counts.
    Mantle Length 78
    Eyes to web edge, sector A 140
    Head width 80
    Mantle width 58
    Fin length 75
    fin width 54
    Arm I, length 200
    Arm II, length 195
    Arm III, length 185
    Arm IV, length 175
    Web sector A, depth 148
    Web sector B, depth 136
    Web sector C, depth 116
    Web sector D, depth 92
    Web sector E, depth 66
    Arm I, sucker counts -/72
    Arm II, sucker counts 72-69
    Arm III, sucker counts 69/69
    Arm IV, sucker counts 70/67

    Measurements are in mm and are of the holotype. Sucker counts are from O'Shea (1999). Other counts are from Robson (1930).


The above description is taken mostly from Robson (1930), Vecchione and Young (1997) and Vecchione, et al. (1998).


Robson, G. C. (1930). Cephalopoda, I. Octopoda. Discovery Report, 2:371-401.

Vecchione, M. and R. E. Young. 1997 Aspects of the functional morphology of cirrate octopods: locomotion and feeding. Vie Milieu 47(2):101-110.

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.

About This Page

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

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

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