Taxon profile


California Lilliput Octopus
Octopus micropyrsus Berry, 1953

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Cephalopoda - cephalopods »  order Octopoda »  family Octopodidae »  genus Octopus - octopus

Scientific synonyms

Octopus (Octopus) micropyrsus Berry, 1953

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Body small, rounded to elongate-ovate. Head short. Eyes moderately large, prominent. Funnel conical, with small aperture. Funnel organ W-shaped. Arms slender, attenuate distally, especially in the single female seen; not very unequal, in general to 3 times the length of the body in the male. Suckers sharply elevated and for the most part well separated, about 40 distinguishable pairs to an arm; one sucker of 4th pair on all arms of male except the ventrals enormously enlarged and urceolate (the same holding true in less degree in the female where all the arms are affected and it is the 5th or 6th sucker pair which is involved, but more material of this sex is needed to establish the constancy of this observation). Right third arm of male only a little shorter than its mate (ca.85 to 94 per cent.), with a broad copulatory fold terminating in an acute, strongly projecting, relatively enormous calamus, which is about half as long as the open, recurved, weakly transversely grooved, conic ligula. Umbrella thin, short, extending in the male 19 to 24 per cent, of the longest arms; formula inconstant, but sector C often somewhat longest and E shortest. Integument uniformly smooth to finely wrinkled, without definitive cirri. Color reported as quite red in life, but in preserved specimens light brownish (oral and ventral surfaces paler), with a moderate to heavy dotting or clouding of dark chromatophores. Measurements of holotype: Total length 45, length of body 10, of longest arm 33, of R. 3rd arm 30, of ligula 2, of sector C of web 8 mm. Type Locality: La Jolla, California; shore to about 6 fathoms, B. H. McConnaughey and Conrad Limbaugh, 1946-1950. This is the smallest species of Octopus known to me and utterly unlike any other in these waters. The enormous specialized suckers of the male and the extraordinary hectocotylus are especially remarkable. The specific name is derived from the Gr. mikros, small, pyrsos, red.
Berry. Leaflets in Malacology.
Author: Jan Delsing

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Octopus micropyrsus Berry, 1953]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013

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