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Opisthoteuthis persephone Berry 1918

Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione
Containing group: Opisthoteuthis


O. persephone was described from 8 specimens taken off Western Australia the largest of which, apparently, is the holotype which is 330 mm in arm span (arm tip to arm tip). This species needs to be redescribed from new material from the type locality.


  1. Arms and web
    1. Female: largest suckers possibly numbers 12-18, nearly uniform over much of arm.
    2. Cirri with narrow pockets into which they can contract.
    3. Sucker numbers (holotype): arm I - 78, arm II - 78, arm III - 72, arm IV - 72. [O'Shea states that arm sucker counts reach 93.]
    4. Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

      Figure. Oral view of the right dorsal arm (suckers 7-22) of O. persephone with retracted cirri, holotype. Drawing from Berry (1918).


The above description is taken from Berry (1918) except where indicated otherwise. More details of the description of O. persephone can be found here although the species has been incompletely described.

O. persephone differs from the New Zealand species O. mero in the number of primary gill lamellae (almost always 6 vs almost always 7) (O'Shea, 1999). It differs from the sympatric O. pluto in its pigmentation (Berry, 1918) and fewer gill lamellae (usually 6 vs 8).


Type locality: 42 miles south and east of Genoa Peak, Victoria, in the great Australian bight, 480 m. Known also from off Eucla, Western Australia from depths of 277 - 554 m (Berry, 1918).


Berry, S.S. 1918. Report on the Cephalopoda Obtained by the F.I.S. "Endeavour" in the Great Australian Bight and Other Southern Australian Localities. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. "Endeavour", 1909-1914, 4(5):201-298.

Nesis, K. N. 1982/87. Abridged key to the cephalopod mollusks of the world's ocean. 385+ii pp. Light and Food Industry Publishing House, Moscow. (In Russian.). Translated into English by B. S. Levitov, ed. by L. A. Burgess (1987), Cephalopods of the world. T. F. H. Publications, Neptune City, NJ, 351pp.

O'Shea, Steve. 1999. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Octopoda (Mollusca: Cephalopoda). NIWA Biodiversity Memoir 112: 280pp.

About This Page

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D. C. , USA

Page: Tree of Life Opisthoteuthis persephone Berry 1918. Authored by Richard E. Young and Michael Vecchione. 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.

Citing this page:

Young, Richard E. and Michael Vecchione. 2003. Opisthoteuthis persephone Berry 1918. Version 13 May 2003 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Opisthoteuthis_persephone/20164/2003.05.13 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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