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Keywords:

  • Cirrata;
  • deep-sea;
  • Octopoda;
  • Opisthoteuthidae

The systematics and distribution of the cirrate octopod genus Grimpoteuthis in the north-east Atlantic are reviewed. Three new species are described and Grimpoteuthis wuelkeri (Grimpe, 1920) is redescribed. A new generic diagnosis is proposed. Five species of Grimpoteuthis are recognized in the north-east Atlantic. The type species, G. umbellata (Fisher, 1883) is known only from the type specimen, which is in such poor condition that comparison with recently captured material was not possible. G. wuelkeri is a large, slope species, caught between 1600 m and 2200 m in the north-east and north-west Atlantic. Of the three new species, both G. boylei and G. challengeri are large abyssal species. G. boylei is found in the north-east Atlantic at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) and the Madeira Abyssal Plain and may be found at abyssal depths throughout the north-east Atlantic. G. challengeri is known from the PAP, with a single specimen from the north-west Atlantic. G. discoveryi is a small, lower slope and abyssal species found in the north-east Atlantic. The Grimpoteuthis species can be separated based on shell form, presence of a radula and posterior salivary glands, arrangement of suckers and cirri and gill morphology. Two species, G. megaptera Verrill and G. plena Verrill, have been described from the north-west Atlantic, but the types are either lost (G. megaptera) or in poor condition (G. plena), hindering comparisons. Material examined from the north-west Atlantic included G. wuelkeri, G. challengeri and at least two other species. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2003, 139, 93−127.