Hatchlings 1.3-1.5 mm ML. Mantle round, head wide. Arms subequal, approx. 50% ML. Three primary suckers on each arm. At ML 1.5-1.7 mm 3rd arms becoming longer (as long as ML at 2.5 mm), in later larvae much longer than others (3-4 times ML). Second arms 1.5-3 times shorter than 3rd. Arms thick, their ends in late larvae tapering and fragile. Outer surface of arms with one row of dark chromatophores, plus one chromatophore at base of each sucker. At ML approx. 3 mm dorsal mantle surface clear in mid-region, 2 chromatophores in posterior area; ventral with 6-8 in mid-region, forming approximately transverse rows; funnel with 2+2, dorsal head with 8 (2+4+2), ventral head with 2, one small over each eye and one large at base of each arm; golden iridophores around eyes. Digestive gland with 11 large dorsal visceral chromatophores. Large larvae ready to settle on bottom at 9-11 mm ML, rarely to 15 mm ML. Body elongate, tubular. Third arms very long, >40 chromatophores in one row. Second and 4th arms somewhat shorter. Dorsal mantle clear in the mid-region, with >20 chromatophores in the posterior area. Web vestigial. Eleven (rarely 12) gill lamellae per demibranch. Egg length approx. 2 mm.
Larvae may be found as far north as the southern slope of Georges Bank. Adults live on the entire shelf and uppermost slope, on sandy and muddy bottoms. There is also a closely related species (still undescribed) which inhabits the tropical and subtropical Indo-West Pacific, the Arabian Sea and South Africa to Hawaii and Tonga.