The presence of Stoloteuthis leucoptera in the Mediterranean is recorded on the basis of three specimens, including an adult male, caught by IKMT and by commercial otter-trawl in the Ligurian Sea. The hypothesis of a recent immigration is discussed.
The list of Mediterranean cephalopods (Mangold Wirz, 1963; Torchio, 1968; Bello, 1986; Mangold & Boletzsky, 1987) includes the Sepiolidae of the subfamily Heteroteuthinae, whose members are supposed to be pelagic throughout their life cycle. Mangold Wirz (1963) recognizes in the Mediterranean fauna the unique species Heteroteuthis dispar, the other authors include H. atlantis Voss, which Voss himself (1955) reported at Messina. To this group may now be added Stoloteuthis leucoptera (Verrill, 1878) a species until now recorded in limited Atlantic areas. Verrill (1881) wrote “This species is an exceedingly beautiful one, when living, owing to the elegance and brilliancy of its colours and the gracefulness of its movements. In swimming it moves its fins in a manner analogous to the motion of the wings of a butterfly.”