Octopus sinensis d'Orbigny, 1841 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae): Valid species name for the commercially valuable East Asian common octopus

Ian G. Gleadall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The East Asian common octopus has long been synonymized with the Atlantic and Mediterranean species Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797. However, evidence from molecular genetic studies has firmly established that the so-called cosmopolitan common octopus is in fact a group of several biogeographically distinct populations which form a complex of species with closely similar morphology. Here, a diagnosis and brief description are provided which distinguish the East Asian common octopus from O. Vulgaris, and as a suitable name for it a former junior synonym of O. Vulgaris is identified as a valid species: Octopus sinensis d'Orbigny, 1841. A neotype is designated. Voucher material includes specimens collected in Japan by Philipp Franz von Siebold and deposited in the National Museum of Natural History - Naturalis - in Leiden; and others that were studied by Madoka Sasaki in preparation for the detailed description of this species (as O. Vulgaris) in a monograph on Japanese Cephalopoda published in 1929. At present, all species in this complex (particularly O. Vulgaris and the East Asian species here identified as O. Sinensis) are highly vulnerable to overfishing, so recognizing O. Sinensis as a species distinct from O. Vulgaris is an important step towards improving sustainable fisheries management policies for each species in this group of commercially valuable octopuses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalSpecies Diversity
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Arm length
  • Hectocotylus
  • Octopus sinensis
  • Octopus vulgaris
  • Suckers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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