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Lolliguncula (Lolliguncula) brevis (Blainville 1823)

Thumbstall squid

Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young
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Containing group: Lolliguncula


Size: Females 11 cm; males 8.5 cm ML.


  1. Arms
    1. Modified portion of hectocotylized (left ventral) arm occupies distal third of arm and extends to arm tip; about 24 suckers of dorsal row modified, the proximal 1 to 3 being greatly reduced in diameter, the remaining pedicels distally are greatly enlarged into long, slightly flattened papillae that gradually diminish in size distally; no large, puffy, glandular enlargement of basal area of arm between sucker series.
  2. Head
    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.

  3. Mantle
    1. Mantle stout, bluntly rounded posteriorly, widest in mid-portion.
  4. Fins
    1. Fins short (50 - 55 % ML), broad, wider than long (fin width 75% ML), very rounded.

Color: dark reddish brown to brownish yellow with chromatophores over nearly entire animal; chromatophores most dense on ventral surface of mantle and head, except in very large specimens, in which the opposite occurs.

Habitat and Biology

Entirely coastal and generally limited to very shallow water of less than 18 m depth. Occurs in bays and estuaries and is associated with low salinity water, although it is not excluded from coastal salinities; normal salinity range 17 - 30 ppt. Temperatures of captures range from 15  to 32 C. Small eggs are laid in elongate, terminally rounded, gelatinous capsules attached to the bottom in shallow waters. Food consists of small crustaceans and fishes.

Geographic distribution

Western Atlantic from New Jersey and Delaware Bay, southward to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean mainland and coast of northeastern South America (about 40 N to 23 S); excluded from the Bahamas and Caribbean Islands except Cuba and Curaçao.


Lolliguncula found south of the Amazon River may belong to a distinct species.

Other Names for Lolliguncula (Lolliguncula) brevis (Blainville 1823)

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Lolliguncula brevis
Location Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA
Comments photographed in aquarium
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Bill Stewart
View dorsal
Copyright © 2007 Bill Stewart
Scientific Name Lollicuncula brevis
Reference Vecchione, M., C. F. E. Roper and M. J. Sweeney (1989). Marine flora and fauna of the eastern United States. Mollusca: Cephalopoda. NOAA Tech. Rep., NMFS 73: 23 pp.
View Ventral, dorsal
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
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About This Page

National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C. , USA

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Michael Vecchione at

Page: Tree of Life Lolliguncula (Lolliguncula) brevis (Blainville 1823). Thumbstall squid. Authored by Michael Vecchione and Richard E. Young. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Vecchione, Michael and Richard E. Young. 2010. Lolliguncula (Lolliguncula) brevis (Blainville 1823). Thumbstall squid. Version 02 September 2010 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Lolliguncula_%28Lolliguncula%29_brevis/19893/2010.09.02 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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