Japetella diaphana

Alternate names: diaphanous pelagic octopod, Eledonella diaphana, midwater octopus, pelagopulpo translucido

Author: Hoyle, 1885


General: Body small, gelatinous, and semi-transparent to orange in color with large, prominent eyes and eight short arms. Arm length less than mantle length. Sexual dimorphism between sexes. Mature males lack hectocotylized arm, but do possess enlarged distal suckers on third right arm. Mature females have a ring-shaped light organ around the mouth.

Size: To 8.5 cm mantle length and to 16 cm total length.

Reproduction: Upon reaching sexual maturity, iridescence of eyes and digestive glands disappears, pigmentation increases slightly, and individuals migrate to deeper water. Mature males develop enlarged salivary glands, possibly to secrete chemical attractant for females. Bioluminescent organ in females may be used for reproductive signalling to males. Females brood eggs underneath their arms.

Geographic Information

Ocean range (global): Worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters, and boreal waters of the northern Pacific Ocean.

Habitat description: Mesopelagic.

Published depth range: 200 - 1,000 m.

Additional Information

Color: Semi-transparent to orange.

Dgs reference: Young, R.E. (2016). "Japetella diaphana Hoyle 1885." The Tree of Life Web Project. Last modified 11/16/16. http://tolweb.org/Japetella_diaphana/20224.


Encyclopedia of Life

Tree of Life

World Register of Marine Species

National Center for Biotechnology Information

Hoyle, W.E. (1885). Diagnoses of new species of Cephalopoda collected during the cruise of H.M.S. Challenger, I: The Octopoda. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. series 5, 15:222-236.

Norman, M.D. and J.K. Finn (2014). "Family Bolitanidae" in P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman, and J.K. Finn (eds.). Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. Rome: FAO.

Citation: Japetella diaphana (Hoyle, 1885 ) Deep-Sea Guide (DSG) at http://dsg/mbari.org/dsg/view/concept/Japetella%20diaphana. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Consulted on 2022-10-01.
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