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Free Content Systematics, biology and biogeography of the Cranchiid cephalopod genus Teuthowenia (Oegopsida)

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Teuthowenia is comprised of three discrete, closely related, allopatric species. Synonymies, definitions, diagnoses and keys to all developmental stages are presented, along with a review of the complex history of the genus and detailed illustrations.

The discrete, ecologically distinct, distributional patterns of the three species reflect the influence of a number of biological and physical factors. T. megalops (Prosch) is confined to the highly productive Atlantic subarctic and the highly productive areas of the North Atlantic temperate region. T. maculata (Leach) is restricted to the area of year-round, high productivity in the eastern tropical Atlantic. T. pellucida (Chun) is distributed circumglobally in the mixed and fringing waters of the Southern Subtropical Convergence. The species display similar patterns of ontogenetic descent from near-surface waters to midwater depths of about 1,000 m to in excess of 2,500 m where the animals mature, mate and spawn.

Teuthowenia species have differentiated physiologically and developmentally as well as morphologically. Variations in the maturity-related morphological features among the species suggest differences in behavioral patterns for courtship and copulation. The genus displays a high rate of evolution in male and female secondary sexual characters. The relationships of Teuthowenia with Egea and Megalocranchia, which together comprise the monophyletic Megalocranchia group, and with the other taoniin genera are discussed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1985

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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