, Volume 725, Issue 1, pp 215–235 | Cite as

The ink sac clouds octopod evolutionary history

  • Jan M. StrugnellEmail author
  • Mark D. Norman
  • Michael Vecchione
  • Michelle Guzik
  • A. Louise Allcock


Difficulties in elucidating the evolutionary history of the octopods have arisen from problems in identifying informative morphological characters. Recent classifications have divided the largest group, the incirrate octopods, into five groups. These include the pelagic superfamily Argonautoidea and three gelatinous pelagic families (Vitreledonellidae, Bolitaenidae, Amphitretidae). All benthic incirrate octopods have been accommodated in the family Octopodidae, itself divided into four subfamilies, Octopodinae, Eledoninae, Bathypolypodinae and Graneledoninae, which are defined by the presence or absence of an ink sac, and uniserial or biserial sucker arrangements on the arms. We used relaxed clock models in a Bayesian framework and maximum likelihood methods to analyse three nuclear and four mitochondrial genes of representatives from each of the previous subfamilies. Strong evidence indicates that the family Octopodidae is paraphyletic and contains the gelatinous pelagic families. The subfamilies of Octopodidae recognised in earlier works do not reflect evolutionary history. The following clades were supported in all analyses: (1) Eledone/Aphrodoctopus, (2) Callistoctopus/Grimpella/Macroctopus/Scaeurgus, (3) Abdopus/Ameloctopus/Amphioctopus/Cistopus/Hapalochlaena/Octopus, (4) Enteroctopus/Muusoctopus/Vulcanoctopus, (5) Vitreledonella/Japetella, (6) Southern Ocean endemic and deep-sea taxa with uniserial suckers. These clades form the basis for a suite of taxa assigned family taxonomic rank: Amphitretidae, Bathypolypodidae, Eledonidae, Enteroctopodidae, Megaleledonidae and Octopodidae sensu nov. They are placed within the superfamily Octopodoidea.


Octopoda Evolution Molecular Phylogenetics 



Jan Strugnell was supported by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Antarctic Funding Initiative (AFI) NE/C506321/1 (awarded to Louise Allcock), and a Lloyd’s Tercentenary Fellowship, a Systematic Association grant, an Antarctic Science Bursary and the Edith Mary Pratt Musgrave fund. We are grateful to David Carlini, Joao Sendao, C.C. Lu, Malcom Smale, Sean Fennessey, Janet Voight and Roger Villanueva for providing tissue samples which made this study possible. The majority of the analyses in this paper were done on the CamGrid cluster at the University of Cambridge and we are grateful to the Cambridge eScience Centre for its support of the system.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan M. Strugnell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark D. Norman
    • 2
  • Michael Vecchione
    • 3
  • Michelle Guzik
    • 4
  • A. Louise Allcock
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, La Trobe Institute for Molecular ScienceLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.Sciences, Museum VictoriaMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.NMFS National Systematics Laboratory, National Museum of Natural History, MRC-153Smithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, School of Earth and Environmental SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.Zoology, School of Natural Sciences and Ryan InstituteNational University of Ireland, GalwayGalwayIreland

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