Asperoteuthis acanthoderma

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Asperoteuthis acanthoderma
Asperoteuthis acanthoderma Little Cayman.jpg
A specimen of A. acanthoderma found floating at the surface off Little Cayman in May 2008. The squid measured over 7 feet (2.1 m) in length.[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Oegopsida
Family: Chiroteuthidae
Genus: Asperoteuthis
A. acanthoderma
Binomial name
Asperoteuthis acanthoderma
(Lu, 1977)[3]
  • Asperoteuthis famelica
    Berry, 1909
  • Chiroteuthis acanthoderma
    Lu, 1977

Asperoteuthis acanthoderma is a large species of squid belonging to the family Chiroteuthidae. It is characterised by the tiny, pointed tubercules present on its skin and a Y-shaped groove in the funnel locking apparatus.[4]

The largest recorded specimen measured 78 cm (2.56 ft) in mantle length (ML), although its original total length is unknown as it was missing the very delicate feeding tentacles.[5] A smaller specimen, 45 cm (1.48 ft) ML, had tentacles 12 times the length of its mantle, giving a total length of almost 5.5 m (18 ft).[6] This makes A. acanthoderma one of the longest known cephalopods.

The type specimen of A. acanthoderma was collected in the Celebes Sea and is deposited at the Zoologisk Museum of Københavns Universitet in Copenhagen.[7] A. acanthoderma is also known from waters off the Cayman Islands, the Florida Keys,[1] Okinawa,[6] and Hawaii.[8]

The first known specimen from the Atlantic Ocean was found by a charter fisherman while floating in 250 m (820 ft) deep water off the southern coast of Key West, Florida on 20 February 2007.[9] It measured 73 cm (2.40 ft) ML and is thought to have been 4.9 to 7.3 m (16 to 24 ft) long when intact.[10] Although an incomplete specimen, missing most of its tentacles, it weighed 6 kg (13 lb) and measured 2 m (6.6 ft) in total length.[9]

In 2007, teuthologist Richard E. Young stated that "probably fewer than 10" specimens of A. acanthoderma had ever been reported.[10] However, since 2006 there has been an influx of new specimens from the Caribbean Basin and Atlantic.[1] Four specimens were recorded between 2006 and 2007 (two from the Florida Keys, one off Grand Cayman, and one off Little Cayman).[1][11] This was followed by another specimen from Little Cayman in May 2008 and another from Grand Cayman in September 2009.[1][12] A large specimen around 2 m (6.6 ft) long was found floating at the surface off the Cayman Islands in 2013.[13] It was transported to the University of South Florida St. Petersburg on a Royal Caribbean cruise and later transferred to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C..[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Six-foot squid found in Cayman waters Archived October 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Cayman News Service, 6 October 2009.
  2. ^ Barratt, I. & Allcock, L. (2014). "Asperoteuthis acanthoderma". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2014: e.T163112A973704. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-1.RLTS.T163112A973704.en. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  3. ^ Julian Finn (2016). "Asperoteuthis acanthoderma (Lu, 1977)". World Register of Marine Species. Flanders Marine Institute. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  4. ^ Lu, C.C. 1977. A new species of squid, Chiroteuthis acanthoderma, from the Southwestern Pacific (Cephalopoda, Chirothidae). Steenstrupia Zoological Museum University of Copenhagen 4(16): 179-188.
  5. ^ Okutani, T. 1995. Cuttlefish and squids of the world in color. Publication for the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the National Cooperative Association of Squid Processors.
  6. ^ a b Tsuchiya, K. & T. Okutani 1993. Rare and interesting squids in Japan -X. Recent occurrences of big squids from Okinawa. Venus 52: 299-311.
  7. ^ Current Classification of Recent Cephalopoda
  8. ^ Roper, C.F.E. & C.C. Lu 1990. Comparative Morphology and Function of Dermal Structures in Oceanic Squids (Cephalopoda). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 493: 1-40.
  9. ^ a b Lee, C.E. 2007. Rare squid draws attention Mote shows off elusive creature. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10 May 2007.
  10. ^ a b Raloff, J. 2007. It's a Girl: Atlantic mystery squid undergoes scrutiny. Science News 171(11): 165.
  11. ^ Lollar, K. 2007. Big squid in Keys could be first outside Pacific[permanent dead link]. The News-Press.
  12. ^ Giant squid recovered, preserved[dead link]. Cayman Net News, 22 May 2008.
  13. ^ a b Giant squid found in Cayman head to US museum Archived November 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Cayman News Service, 22 October 2013.
  14. ^ Royal Caribbean helps transport giant squid to museum. Royal Caribbean Blog, 23 October 2013.

External links[edit]