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Soft-bottom octopods (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) of the southern Caribbean with the description of a new species of Macrotritopus


Three species of sand bottom octopuses (Cephalopoda) are identified from shallow waters of Taganga Bay, southern Caribbean: the known Amphioctopus burryi (Voss, 1950), one new Amphioctopus species, and one new species of long-arm octopod Macrotritopus beatrixi sp. nov. The preliminary description of the new Amphioctopus species is presented as well as some new features of A. burryi (Voss, 1950) with some ecological notes. A redescription of Macrotritopus defilippi (Verany, 1851) is given as well as the full description of M. beatrixi sp. nov. The new species M. beatrixi sp. nov. is characterized by long arms, seven to eight times the mantle length, third right arm on males hectocotylized, with 56 to 114 suckers (mean 98), ligula small (ligula length index 1–1.25), calamus medium (calamus length index 25–30), and arm autotomy present at different levels. This doubles the number of species of each genus in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The authors are grateful to Luis Sendoya, Lucero Zamudio, Juan Pablo Assmus, Julian Matos, Diana Bermudez, and Joao Blanco for their help in the fieldwork and lab. Thanks is due to Bernhard Hausdorf for his help at the CENAK Museum Hamburg, Germany, to Philippe Maestrati and Barbara Buge, for their help in the Musée National d’Historie Naturelle Paris, France, to Manuel Caballero Gutierrez from the MNHN Paris for the photography of young Macrotritopus, to Mike Vecchione and Bill Moser for their help at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, to el Ministerio del Ambiente de Colombia (Research and Collecting Survey Permit SINA 03-2012), and to the reviewers for their comments. Special thanks to Tinka Stoessel for reading the manuscript.


This study was financed by private funds of the senior author.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jürgen Guerrero-Kommritz.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

International and national guidelines for the care and use of cephalopods were followed by the authors.

Field study

Research and collecting permits were obtained by the authors: Colombian Environmental Ministry Permit SINA 03-2012.

Additional information

This article is registered in Zoobank under 81A1AEF1-0F53-4006-984ED44345F0C560. The species is registered in ZooBank under 1E8E6864-8AB6-491B-9942-1153E8369B46.

Communicated by M. Vecchione

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Guerrero-Kommritz, J., Rodriguez-Bermudez, A. Soft-bottom octopods (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) of the southern Caribbean with the description of a new species of Macrotritopus. Mar Biodiv 49, 1197–1215 (2019).

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  • Southern Caribbean
  • Cephalopoda
  • Macrotritopus
  • Amphioctopus
  • New species
  • Soft bottom