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Echinoteuthis and my New Zealand taxonomic review of Mastigos

Joined
Feb 18, 2007
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I just wanted to share a few pictures of me and Aaron in the lab with the most beautiful Mastigo that I have ever seen. Now, it might be well known that the taxonomy of this family is poorly known. I've been sorting all the Mastigo specimens from NIWA and Te Papa into species groups before I describe and identify them. I have badly damaged, and sad looking squids in jars - and there aren't many to work with. Right now I'm up to about ten species, with possibly one new one, and I've found a fairly clearn division into two families. And then Steve told me that somewhere in AUT there is an unidentified Mastigo, which may belong to a third genus (Echinoteuthis)! It was quite an adventure trying to look through unidentified buckets (often things aren't preserved very well :yuck:), but I finally found the most beautiful squid ever! This is an adult of a genus which has only ever been described from paralarvae, and so this will be the first described adult!
 

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GPO87

Sepia elegans
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Although I do not think that this squid is in any way more beautiful than Teuthowenia... :wink: this was a pretty awesome find! Very cool skin texture.
 
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Feb 18, 2007
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This squid does have really nice skin, and did you see the condition of the funnel locking cartilage! Of course, I do believe you are mistaken when it comes to the beauty of this lovely lady squid. At least my squid are shaped properly with fins that are at least half the length of the mantle, how can yours even swim with their ridiculous proportions?
 

GPO87

Sepia elegans
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I beleive that you will find that adult Teuthowenia do indeed have fins that are half the length of the mantle. (they just don't have any width on their fins). They still manage to move quite quickly... if they are trying to move away from say... a rock.
 
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Feb 18, 2007
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Aw, that's ok, even with like I. cordiformis they still can't escape fishing nets. They're so big that they're really slow. To be honest, I like how pathetic our taxa are.
 

GPO87

Sepia elegans
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Our taxa are pretty epic, arn't they?
For those of you at home who have no idea what's going on... Heather and I are sitting in our apartment, essentially across the room from each other, laughing our heads off at how ridiculous this online "battle" is!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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I'll bet the Mastigo would be really something to look at alive! Is it a deep sea animal?
 
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Feb 18, 2007
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Mastigos are bathypelagic, and most of my specimens come from around 1000m deep. Seeing them dead in jars, or lying on the bench, I often wonder too what they look like when they're still alive.
 

OB

Colossal Squid
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GPO87;187767 said:
I beleive that you will find that adult Teuthowenia do indeed have fins that are half the length of the mantle. (they just don't have any width on their fins). They still manage to move quite quickly... if they are trying to move away from say... a rock.

Tectonics is a bitch....
 

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