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(de Lamarck, 1798)

Hatchling of 3.7-4.0 mm mantle length: body globose to slightly elongate and conical. Arms subequal, 2.5-2.8 mm long, with eight suckers in one row. Arms with 8-11 chromatophores in one row; funnel with two chromatophores located laterally on lip; mantle densely covered with over 50 chromatophores dorsally, but may have a clear area over the digestive gland. Mantle densely covered with over 50 chromatophores ventrally. Dorsal part of head with over six chromatophores (2+4 pattern); each eye with eight or more chromatophores. Silver iridophores around the eyes. Unknown number and pattern of chromatophores on the ventral head. Dorsal surface of digestive gland with 13 visceral chromatophores
Young of 12.0 mm mantle length: arms subequal, 16.0 mm long, with 28 or more suckers in one row. The number and pattern of chromatophores appear to be the same as in hatchlings.
— The adult is benthopelagic [E.cirrhosa ]. Adult body smooth or finely tuberculate. One cirrus-like papilla above each eye. Total length up to 500 mm, with maximum arm spread of 700 mm. Colour is yellow-brown or bright red. Arms are slender, finely tapered distally and curled when at rest, with a single longitudinal row of suckers.

Largest young caught from the plankton 12.0 mm mantle length. Adult length up to 50 cm.

Depth range
The larvae and juveniles are planktonic, occurring from surface to about 200 m. Adult benthopelagic, on rocky coasts, often on the lower shore, and subtidally to ca. 200 m.

Distribution in the North Sea
Common in all North Sea.

World distribution
Widely distributed in the NE Atlantic from around 65 °N to North Africa; less common in the Mediterranean Sea.

[Description after Hochberg et al., in Sweeney et al., 1992]

Eledone cirrhosa