Animal almost nonpigmented, colorless, wholly covered by jelly coating overlayed by a thin epithelium with some sparse chromatophores. Only eye lenses, arm ends and funnel tip emerge from coating. Mantle elongate, narrowly-oval (in Atlantic subspecies). Arms subequal, 1.5-3 times ML. Web depth up to 2/3 maximum arm length. Suckers small, widely separated. No enlarged suckers. Digestive gland oval-subtriangular. Tip of hectocotylized arm in mature males finely pointed and curved hook-like, set off from basal part of arm by angular swelling. ML up to 9 cm.
Larvae like miniature adults, easily distinguishable by telescopic eyes and two lateral mantle openings.
One species widely distributed in the World Ocean with two subspecies: Amphitretus pelagicus pelagicus in the tropical Indo-Pacific, and Amphitretus pelagicus thielei Robson, 1930 in the southern subtropical and subantarctic Atlantic.