Neon flying squid

Class: Cephalopoda

Family: Ommastrephidae

Family Description:

The mantle is cylindrical or conical and densely muscular. Fins are transversely rhomboidal or heart-shaped. Head and eyes are large. Arms are strong with well-developed protective membranes and swimming keels. Suckers are biserial with denticulate rings. Tentacles displayed well-defined stalk, carpus, manus and dactylus. Manus and dactylus bear 4 series of suckers, except Illex which has 8 series of suckers on the dactylus. The suckers of the 2 median series on the manus are larger than those on the marginal series. The large sucker rings on the manus have sharp teeth, low broad plates, or smooth (last 2 conditions mainly in Illex). The special fixing apparatus with knobs and opposing smooth-ringed suckers occurs on the carpus only in Ommastrephinae. One or both ventral arms hectocotylized. If one arm is hectocotylized, it may be longer than the adjacent non-modified ventral arm, or both arms are equal-sized.

Genus: Ommastrephes d Orbigny [in 1834-1847], 1834

Species: Ommastrephes bartramii Lesueur, 1821

Species Description:

Funnel groove with foveola and side pockets. Tetraserial suckers on dactylus of tentacular clubs; medial manus sucker rings with 1 tooth in each quadrant greatly enlarged; carpal fixing apparatus consisting of smooth-ringed suckers and knobs on the tentacular stalk. Small, irregularly shaped, subcutaneous light organs present in adults, embedded in the ventral mantle and ventrally in the head. Either left or right ventral arm (IV) hectocotylized by complete loss of suckers and sucker bases distally in mature males. Mantle-funnel locking apparatus not fuse. Color of whole body from tentacle to mantle is red-brown on the dorsal and light brown ventrally.


Loligo bartramii Lesueur, 1821; Lolimnites meridionalis Risso, 1854; Ommastrephes caroli Furtado, 1887; Ommastrephes caroli stenodactyla Rancurel, 1976; Ommastrephes cylindraceus d Orbigny [in 1834-1847], 1835; Ommatostrephes caroli Furtado, 1887; Onychoteuthis brevimanus Gould, 1852.

Other Records(References):

Ommastrephes bartramii Lesueur, 1821- [Jereb and Roper (2010): 295-300]

Global Distribution:

Widely distributed species with an oceanic bi-subtropical (anti-tropical) worldwide distribution. It inhabits the great subtropical ocean gyres in subtropical and partly temperate oceanic waters, but it is excluded from the equatorial waters of all 3 oceans.


Ommastrephes bartramii has been assessed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List, because it is an oceanic species with a worldwide geographic distribution and is only subject to fishing pressure in some regions of its range.