The first observation in the North Atlantic Ocean of the deep sea squid Asperoteuthis acanthoderma (family Chiroteuthidae) is reported here from off the coast of Key West, Florida in the Straits of Florida. We describe the morphology of the two nearly complete, but damaged, specimens. A third record is based on photographs of a specimen from off Grand Cayman Island; this specimen was not available for examination. The multiple occurrences of this species, heretofore unknown in the North Atlantic Ocean, within a 10-month period are so unusual that we attempt to hypothesize an explanation for these events. All previously known records are recorded from a few specimens scattered from Hawaii to the Philippines. The present specimens were identified by the following characteristics unique to the species: Y-shaped funnel locking apparatus, sucker ring form and dentition, beak morphology, photophore patch configuration on ventral surface of eyeballs, and numerous small cartilaginous tubercles that cover the mantle, head and the aboral surface of the arms.
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Vol. 122 • No. 2