Some octopoteuthids reach a large size (160 cm ML); all have a distinctive appearance and are not easily confused with any other squids. Tentacles do not grow much beyond the paralarval stage. They are lost in subadult Octopoteuthis and form only minute appendages in subadult Taningia. The mantle is broad and weakly muscled; large muscular fins apparently provide most of the force for swimming. The short arms carry two series of hooks except near the tips where they are replaced by two series of suckers. Some or all arms terminate in photophores. Arm tips of Octopoteuthis are frequently lost during capture.
A member of the lepidoteuthid families ...
without tentacles (rudiments present in some subadults).
The family comprises only two genera, Octopoteuthis (not included in ID 592) and Taningia. It is characterized by biserial hooks on the arms (usually replaced by small biserial suckers near the arm tips); a lack of tentacles (in adults), buccal connectives that attached to the ventral borders of arms IV; a simple, straight, slightly broad funnel locking-cartilage; very large fins; light organs at the tips of development in Octopoteuthis, while they remain for some time in Taningia as small rudimentary filaments that bear a few distal club suckers; they eventually drop off in the juvenile stage.