Chiroteuthis Tentacular Sheath

Richard E. Young and Clyde F. E. Roper

The lateral membranes of arms IV (i.e., the tentacular sheaths) in Chiroteuthis are very large and serve to hold the tentacles when retacted and the base of tententacles when extended. Hunt (1996) has observed Chiroteuthis calyx in laboratory aquaria feeding on brine shrimp. When a brine shrimp ran into the tentacular club, it was grabbed by the suckers and the tentacle retracted up the tentacular sheath until the other arms could grab the prey and pass it to the mouth. The tentacles were then redeployed out the tip of the ventral arms.

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Figure. Chiroteuthis veranyi in a shipboard aquarium. A - Enlargement of Fig. B showing the tentacle being held by the sheath. Note the club at the distal end. The base of the tentacle lies outside the sheath presumably due to the abnormal conditions within the aquarium. Note also the numerous pad-like photophores on the tentacular stalk. B - Low magnification of Fig. A to show general orientation. C - The same squid with the tentacle neatly enclosed in the sheath. Photographs by Ron Gilmer, courtesy of Rich Harbison.

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Figure. A young Chiroteuthis picteti in a shipboard aquarium. The delicate nature of the partially retracted but disloged tentacles is apparent and they might easily become entangled width one another. This suggests why the large tentacular sheaths are needed in this genus (i.e., to control the dangling tentacles and keep them separated). Photograph by R. Young.

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University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., USA

Page: Tree of Life Chiroteuthis Tentacular Sheath Authored by Richard E. Young and Clyde F. E. Roper. 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.

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