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Volume 14, 1881
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Art. XLII.—Description of new Cephalopoda.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 11th February, 1882.]

Plate XXXVI.
Sepiola, Rondelet.

Body oval; mantle globose; its dorsal or hinder edge is connected in the middle with the head by a broad ligament: fins thin, small, placed behind the middle of the sides. Eyes partly covered by a cuticle or lid. Arms in unequal pairs. Shell small, bat-shaped.

Sepiola pacifica, sp. nov.

Body smooth, long bell-shaped. Fins moderate, front main free. Tentacles vermiform, as long as head and body together; club thickly and irregularly studded with minute suckers. Sessile arms unequal, the ventral or lowest being the largest; all armed with suckers arranged in two alternating rows, and extending right to the tip of each arm. Head stout, eyes prominent.

Colour: Above, flesh-colour irregularly and profusely spotted and blotched with purple, the ground-colour of the head and anterior part of the body being almost hidden; spots becoming finer as they approach the posterior

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end of the body. Below, pale flesh-colour, spotted as above, but spots much larger and further apart. The funnel, sides of sessile arms, and under surface of fins white. Tentacles white, with exception of a row of purple spots on the back of the club.

Total length 1.4 inch. Length of body 1 inch. Length of head .4 inch.


Architeuthis, Steenstrup.

Oplysninger om Atlanter, Collossale Blæksprutter, Förhandlinger Skand.

Natur., 1856, vii., p. 182, Christiana, 1857.

Size large; body stout, nearly round, swollen in the middle. Caudal fin very small, sagittate. Head large, short. Eyes very large, oblong-ovate, with well developed lids and anterior sinus. Sessile arms stout, their suckers large, very oblique, with the edges of the horny rings strongly serrate, especially on the outer margin. The margin has around it a free-edged membrane, which closely surrounds the denticles when the sucker is used, and allows a vacuum to be produced. Tentacular arms very long and slender in extension, the proximal part of the club furnished with an irregular group of small, smooth-rimmed suckers, intermingled with rounded tubercles on each arm, the suckers on one arm corresponding with the tubercles on the other, so that by them the two arms may be firmly attached together without injury, and used in concert; other similar suckers and tubercles, doubtless for the same use, are distantly scattered along the slender part of these arms, one sucker and one tubercle always occurring near together. The internal shell is thin and very broad, expanding from the anterior to the posterior end, with divergent ribs (Verrill). A. verrilli, sp. nov. Fig. 1.

Body short, stout and nearly round, dilated in the middle.

Sessile arms unequal in size and length; the first, second and fourtl pairs about same length as body and head together, third pair longer and stouter; all armed with similar suckers, but varying in number, the third pair carrying more than either of the others.

Tentacular arms, when extended, nearly three times the length of head and body.

Caudal fin obcordate, small dorsal; from tip to front margin about one third the length of the body; terminating posteriorily in a blunt point.

Suckers stalked.

  • Length of body and head 9 feet 1 in.

  • " 1st, 2nd, and 4th sessile arms 9 " 0 "

  • " 3rd sessile arm 10 " 5 "

  • Circumference of body 9 " 2 "

Hab.—Cook Strait.

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Architeuthis Verrilli, sp. nov. T.W.Kirk.

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Eenstrupia Stockll, gen. et sp. nov, T.W.Kirk.

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Special Description.

This specimen was stranded at Island Bay, Cook Strait, on Sunday, 6th June, 1880. When I reached the spot a very large portion of the tentacular arms had been torn off and carried away by the sea. Mr. James McColl, who was then living near the bay, informed me that he discovered the animal on the beach about seven o'clock that morning; it was then not quite dead. After recovering from his surprise, he “straightened out the longest feelers and measured them; they were just twenty-five feet, with broad pieces at the ends. The broad pieces had a row of fifteen suckers along each side, and a middle row of nineteen.” The portions of the tentacular arms remaining measured—right, eleven feet nine inches; left, eleven feet; and seven and a half inches in circumference. At intervals of about three feet were placed a sucker and a small fleshy tubercle, the sucker on the left arm corresponding with the tubercle on the right.

The first, second, and fourth pairs of sessile arms were of equal length and size, viz., nine feet long by fifteen inches in circumferance, each carrying sixty-five suckers. The third pair much longer and stouter, being ten feet five inches in length and twenty-one inches in circumference, armed with seventy-one suckers. The suckers were arranged in two alternate rows. Along each angle of the arms ran a fleshy membrane about one and a half inches deep, which could be folded over the suckers.

Arms connected by a web eleven inches deep, forming a funnel round the mouth.

Head four feet three inches in circumference, and nineteen inches from root of arms to anterior margin of mantle. Eye five inches by four.

Body from anterior margin of mantle to tip of tail seven feet six inches; greatest circumference nine feet two inches; at anterior end, six feet four.

Fins extending on to the back as in the case of Onychoteuthis, length to anterior margin, thirty inches; width, twenty-eight inches.

The beak and portions of the skeleton had been extracted by some Italian fishermen, and although an effort was made to trace and procure them, it failed.

This species may be considered as intermediate between Architeuthis, Steenstrup, and Stenoteuthis, Verrill, from both of which, however, it differs so much as almost to demand the creation of a new genus, but until more specimens are procured I prefer to place it under Architeuthis.

I have dedicated it to Prof. Verrill, to whom I am greatly indebted for a copy of his exhaustive paper on the gigantic Cephalopoda of North America.

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Steenstrupia, gen. nov.

Size large, body comparatively slender, cylindrical, very slightly swollen in the middle. Caudal fin small, rhomboidal, lateral. Head long and narrow. Eyes large, round. Sessile arms small, all the same size. Suckers stalked. Internal shell lanceolate.

S. stockii, sp. nov. Figs. 2, 3, 4.

Body long, slender, almost a cylinder but very slightly swollen in the middle. Head long and narrow, sides nearly straight. Eyes large and furnished with a lid. Sessile arms small, all same length and size; suckers thirty-six on each arm, arranged in two equal rows, each sucker strengthened by a bony ring, armed with from forty to sixty sharp incurved teeth. Tentacular arms slight, these were torn off at length of 6 feet 2 inches, no trace of suckers or tubercles on remaining portions.

Fin rhomboidal, posterior, lateral. Internal shell lanceolate, furnished anteriorly with two lengthened wing-like expansions similar to those at anterior of shell of Sepia, and a hollow conical apex 1⅛ inch deep.

  • Total length of body and head 11 feet 1 in.

  • Length of body 9 " 2 "

  • " head 1 " 11 "

  • Greatèst circumference 7 " 2 "

  • Circumference of head 4 " 0 "

  • Length of sessile arms 4 " 3 "

  • Circumference of sessile arms 11 " 0 "

  • Length of internal shell 6 " 3 "

  • Width (greatest) 11 " 0 "

Hab.—Cook Strait.

This is the No. 3 of former paper (see “Trans. N.Z. Inst.” vol., xii., p. 312). Named after the Ven. Archdeacon Stock, to whom I am indebted for information of its stranding.