General: A pair of long, elliptical fins runs the length of the body. Tentacles drop off in early life stages, and adults possess just eight arms. Long arms bear hooks instead of suckers along most of their length. Body typically bright red in color with numerous photophores, including prominent photophores at the tip of each arm. Octopoteuthis deletron possess one (rather than two) tail photophores.
Size: To 17 cm mantle length.
Reproduction: Mature males lack hectocotylus, but have a large penis able to extend well beyond the opening of the mantle. Same-sex mating behavior has been reported, likely as a strategy for reproductive success in an environment where mates are few and far between.
Ocean range (global): Eastern North Pacific Ocean (from Alaska to Baja California), off Peru, and potentially off Japan.
Habitat description: Mesopelagic.
Color: Bright red. Fins may have light edges. Juveniles are a lighter color, semi-transparent.
Looks like: Octopoteuthis nielseni
Key visual features: Bright red color. Eight arms, no tentacles. Ink is a characteristic light cloud.
ReferencesEncyclopedia of Life
Tree of Life
World Register of Marine Species
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Bush, S.L., B.H. Robison, and R.L. Caldwell (2009). Behaving in the dark: Locomotor, chromatic, postural, and bioluminescent behaviors of the deep-sea squid Octopoteuthis deletron Young 1972. Biological Bulletin, 216: 7-22. https://doi.org/10.1086/bblv216n1p7
Hoving, H.J.T., S.L. Bush, and B.H. Robison (2012). A shot in the dark: Same-sex sexual behaviour in a deep-sea squid. Biology Letters, 8: 287-290. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0680
Roper, C. F. E. and P. Jereb (2010). "Octopoteuthis" in Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species known to date. Volume 2. Myopsid and Oegopsid Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 2. Rome: FAO.
Young, R.E. (2014). "Octopoteuthis deletron Young 1972." The Tree of Life Web Project. Last modified 1/21/14. http://tolweb.org/Octopoteuthis_deletron/19843.
Citation: Octopoteuthis deletron ((Young, 1972)) Deep-Sea Guide (DSG) at http://dsg/mbari.org/dsg/view/concept/Octopoteuthis%20deletron. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Consulted on 2022-12-05.