Oh my goodness! Unless you are a Tree of Life developer, you really shouldn't be here. This page is part of our beta test site, where we develop new features for the ToL, often messing up a thing or two in the process. Please visit the official version of this page, which is available here.
Under Construction

Onychoteuthis bergii Lichtenstein, 1818

K.S.R. Bolstad
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
Containing group: Onychoteuthis


Onychoteuthis bergii is the type species of the genus.  It was thought, until recently, to be a junior synonym of O. banksii, but examination of the type material (lectotype and paralectotype belonging to the Zoologisches Musuem, Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, Berlin), revealed morphological differences that suggest the validity of O. bergii.


  1. Photophores
    1. Two circular intestinal photophores present. Anterior photophore diameter 60-70% that of posterior photophore.
    2. Ocular photophore a long whitish patch on ventral surface of each eyeball.

  2. Measurements of lectotype
    1. Mantle length - 126 mm
    2. Arm lengths - 38-51 mm
    3. Fin length - 71 mm
    4. Fin width - 81 mm
    5. Club length - 31 mm (L)
    6. Club hooks - 23
    7. Largest hooks - Hooks V7 and V8
    8. Smallest mid-series dorsal hooks - Hooks D4 and D5, or D5 and D6

  3. Tentacle club
    1. Length ~25% ML, with 21–23 hooks.
    2. Distal-most ventral hook bases produced into low, rounded spike.
      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

      © 2010


    (from Bolstad 2010) "The type specimens of O. bergii resemble specimens of similar sizes attributed to O. banksii in many regards; the ocular and intestinal photophores are of similar shapes and relative sizes, and the club lengths and overall body proportions are similar. The chromatophores on the O. bergii types are greatly faded, so their distribution is uncertain, and the tentacular hooks appear somewhat shrunken and deformed, prohibiting direct comparison of these characters. However, certain differences between the O. bergii types (and other material attributed to O. bergii) and O. banksii specimens are consistent: where the posterior portion of the mantle in O. banksii is consistently tapered, even in maturing specimens, in O. bergii it remains widely conical even toward the posterior extremity in specimens of ML 92–144mm [see illustration below]; the lower beak proportions are different, with the LRL longer relative to the wing length in O. banksii than in O. bergii; the largest ventral tentacular hooks in O. bergii appear more robust, shorter relative to club length and longer relative to paired dorsal hook length than those in O. banksii; and the ventral bases of the distal-most ventral hooks in O. banksii are are not produced into a spike, while those in O. bergii do develop a small spike."

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

© 2010


Southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans; one depth record from 155 m.


Bolstad, K.S. 2010. Systematics of the Onychoteuthidae Gray, 1847 (Cephalopoda: Oegopsida). Zootaxa, 2696: 186pp.

Title Illustrations
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
Scientific Name Onychoteuthis bergii
Location Cape of Good Hope
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Sex Female
View Dorsal
Size ML 126 mm
Collection Zoologisches Museum, Berlin
Type Lectotype
Collector Bergius
Copyright © K.S.R. Bolstad
Scientific Name Onychoteuthis bergii
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
View Dorsal
Copyright © 2010 K.S.R. Bolstad
About This Page

K.S.R. Bolstad
Auckland University of Technology

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to K.S.R. Bolstad at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Bolstad, K.S.R. 2015. Onychoteuthis bergii Lichtenstein, 1818. Version 11 October 2015 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Onychoteuthis_bergii/145218/2015.10.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box

Onychoteuthis bergii

Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page