Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Jan 6, 2005
Dancing between Vancouver and Auckland
Ok, so Heather is WAAAY more qualified to talk about this than me. Mastigoteuthis is commonly known as the whiplash squid, because the tentacles lack clubs (giving them the appearence of whips!)

Info at:
... or just PM Heatherbraid. She knows AAAALLL!!!!


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Any idea how long the mantle is? Since they think it eats copepods, I assume it is a small animal but I could not find any sizing info except that the fins are "large" and I assume that was a proportionate statement.
The size is quite variable, and it's hard to tell exactly how big they get we don't seem to have all that many mature adult specimens in the collections here. But most of them (in New Zealand anyway) seem to get up to around 15cm mantle length. But then there is Idioteuthis cordiformis which can have a mantle length of up to two meters and weigh around 75kg. But I haven't heard of them eating anything other than copepods and krill, and if you look at their tentacles it doesn't seem like they could catch much else.
Molecular phylogenetic analysis of the squid family Mastigoteuthidae (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) based on three mitochondrial genes 2013 (subscription but might be begged from @Tintenfisch or @Heather Braid :wink:
Mastigoteuthid squids are ecologically important, being prey to many apex predators, yet the diversity and systematics of the family remain poorly understood. Delicate by nature, they are often damaged during capture; there is a need to accurately identify incomplete mastigoteuthid specimens from collections and stomach contents. This study aimed to test a morphological hypothesis for the division of the genera Mastigoteuthis (Mt.), Idioteuthis, Mastigopsis (Mp.), Echinoteuthis, andMagnoteuthis (Mg.) and to assess the utility of DNA barcodes to discriminate species. Three mitochondrial genes (16S rRNA, 12S rRNA, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) were analysed for eight different species, representing the largest phylogenetic assessment of the family to date. Evidence was found for a potentially new species in New Zealand that has been previously misidentified as the morphologically similar species Mg. magna. Each species analysed herein exhibited unique mitochondrial DNA haplotypes for all loci, and the morphological distinction between the five proposed genera was strongly supported using a combined Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenies. Of the three loci examined, the DNA barcode region shows the greatest divergence between species and should be used in future systematic work on the Mastigoteuthidae.
mastigoteuthis dentata from this AM on schmidt, ID per jesse kelly based on integumental photophores on head and ventral mantle, confirmed by Kat Bolstad/Heather Braid

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