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Kölliker and Argonauta argo (paper nautilus)


Larval Mass
Mar 26, 2006
Hi there.

I was just wondering if anyone knew about Albert Kölliker and his work with the Argonauta argo. I know he was the first person to hypothesise that the hectocotyle found in the female's shell was actually the male. But I haven't been able to locate a copy of his paper “Some observations upon the structure of two new species of Hectocotyle, parasitic upon Tremoctopus violaceus, D. Ch., and Argonauta argo, Linn.; with an exposition of the hypothesis that these Hectocotylæ are the males of the Cephalopoda upon which they are found” which he wrote about this in 1851. If anyone knows more I'd love to mine your superior octopus knowledge. Great. Thanks.

-Patty G


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Oct 19, 2003
I can tell you that this does not hold true for either Argonauta nor Tremoctopus. There is indeed a huge discrepancy in size between the genders, but the male is still very much a self sufficient little octo.

It is true, however, the hectocotylae autotomize during copulation. This gives off the impression of these being autonomous.

This may actually not have been answering your question, reading over your query once again :oops:

The proper answer: No, I didn't know about Albert Kölliker, but I'll look up what I can find :grin:

Edit: amongst other interesting tidbits, it was Kölliker's hand that Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen used in his famous demonstration of the X-Rays he discovered...


PS: This is him, anyway, fervent opponent to Darwin that he was...

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Nov 19, 2002
We talked about this some time back, but unfortunately all embedded images were lost ....

Click here

In looking at the thread there's not a lot of content there; sorry, I cannot be of further help either.

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