A systematic review of the squid genus Chiroteuthis (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) in New Zealand waters
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Collections of Chiroteuthis from New Zealand waters are reviewed for the first time. The distribution of available material spans 24˚45–45˚25.7'S, 163˚29.3'E–165˚13.75'W, depths 0–2000 m, with collections comprising 60 specimens attributed to three species, C. mega (3 specimens), C. spoeli (1 specimen from New Zealand waters, 2 additional specimens from waters north of New Zealand) and C. veranyi (54 specimens), each for the first time described from New Zealand waters on the basis of physical specimens, with C. spoeli being both first reported from New Zealand waters, in addition to which the male of this species is for the first time described. External and internal anatomy for each of the three species recognised from New Zealand waters are described, with each illustrated in series of photographs and drawings. An uncritical compilation of Chiroteuthis species previously reported from New Zealand waters numbered eight taxa: four species and four form taxa previously reported on the basis of beaks recovered from stomach contents of potentially long-distance-foraging marine predators. Thus, the diversity of Chiroteuthis taxa actually occurring within New Zealand waters is lower than was expected, at least based upon in situ captured specimens represented in available museum collections. Although all taxa recognised in collections can be allocated existing taxa, the current knowledge of Chiroteuthis diversity in New Zealand is hindered by both a lack of specimens, and the quality of available specimens. Recommendations are made to improve preservation and curation techniques to ensure cephalopods available for research purposes provide the most taxonomic information.