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The Magnapinnidae, a newly discovered family of oceanic squid (Cephalopoda: Oegopsida)

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A peculiar squid paralarva from Hawaiian waters was described by Young (1991, Bull. mar. Sci. 49(1–2): 162–185), but it could not be assigned to any known family. Two larger juvenile specimens have now been obtained, one collected near the surface in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the other rehydrated from a dried specimen originally recovered from the stomach of an Alepisaurus. A photograph of the latter specimen before dehydration was found among the unpublished notes of S. S. Berry. The squid are characterized by very large fins that dwarf the rest of the animal. The fins are terminal in position, mostly posterior to the mantle muscle. The tentacles are similar to the arms in general form, but are much more robust. Tentacle suckers are in eight series, whereas the crowded arm suckers constitute more than two series on some arm pairs. The distal portions of the arms and tentacles taper abruptly to thin vermiform filaments. The funnel cartilage of the net-collected juvenile is oval and the buccal connectives to Arms IV are ventral. Although some characters indicate a likely relationship with the chiroteuthid/mastigoteuthid group of families, the brachial crown differs from that found in any known family. Based upon these three specimens and the photograph, it is concluded that the squid represent a family not previously recognized by science. This family is named Magnapinnidae, with the type species Magnapinna pacifica n. gen., n. sp., the holotype of which is the net-collected juvenile. Although all three specimens are included in the family and genus, the possibility exists that the paralarva and the rehydrated specimen are not conspecific with the holotype. Therefore, paratypes are not designated.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 1998

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