The arms on Bathyteuthis are short, joined by a low, fleshy web, with suckers arranged in irregular rows (two proximally increasing to four distally). Tentacular clubs are short and narrow, with 8-10 longitudinal series of numerous, minute suckers. Buccal connectives have small suckers attached to the dorsal border of the ventral arms (arms IV). Fins are small, round and separate. The head has tentacle pockets and the eyes are turned slightly to the front. Females have paired oviducts. Suckers lack circularis muscles.
Bathyteuthis shares some characters with oegopsin squid and others with the Myopsina, hence its placement in a separate suborder, the Bathyteuthoidea, by some authorities. The paired oviducts (in females) and suckers without circularis muscles are characteristic of ordinary Oegopsina. However, buccal connective tissue with suckers and tentacle pockets in the head are characters found in myopsin squid, but absent in the Oegopsina.
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