Larvae are known as Doratopsis vermicularis (Rüppell, 1844). Mantle narrowly conical, of semigelatinous consistence, tapering into a thin tail. Fin oval or almost round. Head long, wider than mantle, eyes near middle of head. First arms shortest, 4th arms far longest, much wider than others, with widened ventral protective membrane. Arm suckers on 1st-3rd arms in two rows, on 4th in two rows only in basal half, then zigzag-like and in one row near the end. Arm suckers with acute teeth on distal margin. Suckers on 4th arms slightly smaller than on first three. Tentacles in adults 5-6 times ML. Definitive club wide, without keel, with 4 rows of very peculiar suckers (nearly 20 in a row) on thick, long, dark-colored pedicels, widening at the middle, located so that pedicels of inner rows appear to grow from those of marginal rows. Club suckers with long acute median tooth and some smaller ones. Funnel cartilage ear-shaped, mantle cartilage nose-like. Funnel valve present.
Two large round photophores on ink sac, two parallel elongate luminous stripes, two large oval and one small round photophore on ventral eyeball, a longitudinal row of round photophores along ventral protective membrane of 4th arms, one large complex photophore on end of tentacular club, some small ones on stalk. Adult squids yellowish-brown. ML up to 16 cm.
Larvae are very different from adults, almost transparent, elongate, rod-like, with cylindrical mantle. On conus of gladius behind fin are 1-3 small additional fins. Primary fin butterfly-like, then transverse-oval. Head very narrow, with extremely long, transparent neck, subdivided by many transverse septa, and long (but shorter than neck) narrow "snout" (arm-crown pillar). First 3 arms very short. Tentacular club narrow, keeled, club and part of the stem with 4 rows of ordinary suckers on short pedicels, resorbed during transition to juveniles which occurs at ML approx. 50 mm, although some larval features discernible at ML approx. 75 mm.
Five species, including 3 in the South Atlantic. Chiroteuthis veranyi (incl. C. v. lacertosa Verrill, 1881) distributed in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic and circumglobally in southern subtropical and subantarctic waters from off South Africa to Peru and Chile.