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Opisthoteuthis chathamensis O'Shea 1999

Steve O'Shea, Richard E. Young, and Michael Vecchione
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Containing group: Opisthoteuthis


O. chathamensis is known from nine specimens most of which came from the Chatham Rise east of New Zealand.


  1. Arms and web
    1. Arms subequal.
    2. Arms I in males without increased robustness.
    3. Enlarged male suckers 10.6-11.9% of ML.
    4. Largest female suckers 4.7-7.0% of ML.
    5. Males with two fields of enlarged suckers present; largest sucker diameter of distal field about equal?? to that of proximal field; all arms with equal enlargement.
    6. Abrupt sucker enlargement on all arms and both fields in males.
    7. Male arms with first 3-4 suckers moderate in size, next 5-7 suckers abruptly enlarged, next 8-10 suckers (to web margin) of slightly reduced diameter, next 6-8 suckers abruptly enlarged, terminal 14-16 suckers rapidly decrease in diameter.
    8. Arm sucker counts in mature octopods 41-45 (males), 45-55 (females).
    9. Web nodules not described.
    10. Cirrus length 0.5-2 times maximum sucker diameter.
    11. First cirrus between suckers 2-4.
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    Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

    Figure. Oral and aboral views of O. chathamensis, holotype. Photographs from O'Shea (1999).


The above description is from O'Shea (1999). More details of the description of O. chathamensis can be found here.

O. chathamensis shares (where males are known) enlarged suckers in both proximal and distal fields that are the same on all arms with O. agassizii, O. bruuni, O. grimaldii and O. hardyi. It differs from from all of these species but O. bruuni in the low number of suckers on each arm (41-45 vs 58-80), it differs from O. bruuni in the number of suckers in the distal field (6-8 vs 2-3).


The type locality is off eastern New Zealand near the Chatham Islands, 44°44'S, 77°15'W, 1180 m. The species is known only from this area and off the eastern coast of the north island of New Zealand (O'Shea, 1999). It is known from depths of 900-1438 m (O'Shea, 1999).


O’Shea, Steve. 1999. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 112: 280pp.

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Opisthoteuthis chathamensis
Location Chatham Rise near New Zealand at 4244'S, 17959'E
Comments Bottom trawl at 1175 m depth.
Specimen Condition Fresh
Identified By Darren Stevens, confirmed by Steve O'Shea
View Dorsal, ventral
Size 95 mm HW, 52 mm ML
Collector National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0.
Copyright ©
About This Page

Steve O'Shea
Oceanic Sciences Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

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

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

O'Shea, Steve, Richard E. Young, and Michael Vecchione. 2011. Opisthoteuthis chathamensis O'Shea 1999. Version 20 March 2011 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Opisthoteuthis_chathamensis/20156/2011.03.20 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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