Scientific Name

The scientific name of any species includes the genus of the species, then the actual species name.  The genus of the Giant Squid is Architeuthis. Archi or archae in Greek means “first,” and teuthis means “squid” in Greek, so Architeuthis means “first squid,” referring to importance or size, not date of discovery.

The exact amount of species of Architeuthis there are is to be determined.  Propositions of the number have been anywhere between eight and one.  The largest includes:

Architeuthis dux, “Atlantic Giant Squid”

Architeuthis hartingii

Architeuthis japonica

Architeuthis kirkii

Architeuthis martensi, “North Pacific Giant Squid”

Architeuthis physeteris

Architeuthis sanctipauli, “Southern Giant Squid”

Architeuthis stockii

Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the colossal squid and Onykia robusta, the Robust Clubhook Squid, can and have been mistaken for Arthiteuthis.  The giant squid is in the middle of these in terms of size.

Architeuthis, modified from an illustration by A.E. Verrill, 1880.


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