Haliphron (Allopsus)


Sepia elegans
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The genus Alloposus (now renamed Haliphron) contains one species, Haliphron atlanticus. It is a member of the order Argonautoidea. Originally this genus was divided into four sperate genera, however in 1859, it was determined that the four animals classified, were actually one in the same. It is commonly known as the "seven arm octopus", however, it still retains all eight of its arms.

Haliphron atlanticus

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The giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron atlanticus forages on gelatinous fauna
H.J.T. Hoving, S.H.D. Haddock 2017 (PMC Scientific Reports - full article)

Feeding strategies and predator-prey interactions of many deep-sea pelagic organisms are still unknown. This is also true for pelagic cephalopods, some of which are very abundant in oceanic ecosystems and which are known for their elaborate behaviors and central role in many foodwebs. We report on the first observations of the giant deep-sea octopus Haliphron atlanticus with prey. Using remotely operated vehicles, we saw these giant octopods holding medusae in their arms. One of the medusae could be identified as Phacellophora camtschatica (the egg-yolk jelly). Stomach content analysis confirmed predation on cnidarians and gelatinous organisms. The relationship between medusae and H. atlanticus is discussed, also in comparison with other species of the Argonautoidea, all of which have close relationships with gelatinous zooplankton.

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