Mantle short, semigelatinous, ovoid, width equal to length. Mantle fused with head, connected with funnel by weakly developed connective apparatus. Head wide, weakly separated from mantle and arms. Eyes very large, diameter 35-40% ML. Mantle opening wide, reaching level of upper eye margin. Funnel exceeding bases of 4th arms, sunken into tissues almost to tip. Arms thick, round in section, approximately equal to ML in larvae and juveniles, 2-4 times ML in adults; 1st pair by far the longest, 4th the shortest. Web very deep, in juveniles to 85%, in adults 40-65% maximum arm length. Suckers numerous, small, in one row, set far apart inside web, in two rows and crowded from web edge to arm ends. Ink sac present, photophores absent. Digestive gland large, in front of stomach. Males smaller than females, but not dwarfed. In males 3rd right arm fully modified, developed inside a special sac under skin, thus it appears as though immature males, even the newborn, have only 7 arms. Hectocotylus detached during mating. Adults light-colored on the outside, body covered by small chromatophores. Inside of web intensely purple-brown. Eggs stalked, incubated in large cluster on female's arm crown. Larvae gelatinous and semitransparent. Animals distinguished by short mantle of semigelatinous consistency, very large eyes, and characteristic arrangement of suckers. Larval males also distinguishable by showing only seven arms. ML up to 50 cm, total length to 2 m.
One species. Larvae live at middepths, adults at both mid-depth and near the bottom on the slope, seamounts, and submarine rises.