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What is known about the various species of Chiroteuthis?


Mar 13, 2014
I have taken an interest in this particular genus of squid, because its extremely long feeding tentacles and unique body shape. I've been trying to find more corroborative detail on these types of squid, but I haven't found much which describes their behavior, feeding habits, what depth they come from, or how they camouflage. Are there any experts of Chiroteuthis here who can help me out?


Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
@GPO87 is learning to identify dead things (his masters thesis and TONMOCON V presentation were on the Taxonomy of the glass squid) so he may have some suggestions. I will see if I can grab his attention for the thread.
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Feb 18, 2007
I think the chiroteuthids are very cool! Personally, I like the closely related family of whip-lash squid more (Mastigoteuthidae) because I did my master's on them, but I came across some information on the chiros too. It depends on the level of detail you are looking for - all the sources I have are journal articles. I've found that both families have some work done on them, but there is a lot to research still. Gordman already gave the link to Becca's thesis (it was a taxonomic review of the Chiroteuthis species in NZ, so it has detailed species descriptions), which would be a good place to start. Check the references in her thesis too, because that will lead you to more sources.

I think a good place to start for this genus is TOLWEB: http://tolweb.org/Chiroteuthis/19462

And there are a couple nice youtube videos on them too:

You might also want to look into Asperoteuthis because its body and tentacles are even sillier: http://tolweb.org/tree/ToLimages/asperoacanfull1.300a.jpg


Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
Check out this recent research on the chiroteuthid squid Grimalditetuthis bonplandi as well... it's not in the genus Chiroteuthis but same family, has a lot of structural similarities and the researchers made some very cool behavioral observations that could well apply to Chiroteuthis species as well. The videos are posted under "Data supplement" with the original article here.

PS, I have moved this thread over to the family Chiroteuthidae rather than Cirroteuthidae (which are cirrate octopuses). A redirect will remain under Cirroteuthidae for a week.
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Sepia elegans
Staff member
Jan 6, 2005
Thanks for the nudge D!
Hi Aronnax! I would totally agree with Heather and start looking through tolweb, as that is the most complete description for species of Chiroteuthis; but you will also notice that there are several species/ genera that have not yet been named. Many deep-sea species of squid are not well understood, and unfortunately many chiroteuthids fall into this category.

I would say that, in general, Chiroteuthids would use a similar style of camouflage to the glass squid (Cranchiidae) whereas transparency and small amounts of light producing organs make them very difficult to spot in the ocean. (Would that be an appropriate general statement @Tintenfisch ?) As for the depth they live at, most adults will live fairly deep in the ocean, but they probably move up and down in the water column depending on time of day and availability of food. (But once again, I'm drawing similarities between other deep-sea squid.

Hope these posts all help you Aronnax, let me know if you have any more questions! :biggrin2:

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