Tag Archive: cuttlefish

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Sepiida
Family:i Sepiidae

Genus/species: Metasepia pfefferi

Ron’s flickr VIDEO LINK    https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/41499251715/in/album-72157659465376212/

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The normal base color of this species is dark brown. Individuals that are disturbed or attacked quickly change colour to a pattern of black, dark
brown, and white, with yellow patches around the mantle, arms, and eyes. The arm tips often display bright red coloration to ward off would-be predators. The mantle and head are covered with flap-like, fleshy protuberances (papillae),and a V-shaped fleshy ridge runs along the underside. Yellow fins flutter along the sides to propel the animal slowly though the water or along the substrate.

Max mantle length: 6–8 cm (2.5-3.14 in)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: The Flamboyant Cuttlefish is found from Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to Australia. Found in shallow, low-energy tropical marine waters (3 to 85 m) with mud, sand, or coral rubble

DIET IN THE WILD: M. pfefferi are active diurnal foragers on a variety of foods, especially fish and crustaceans, including “hard-hitting” mantis shrimp. Encircling the mouth are 8 purplish, blade-like arms with rows of suckers used to manipulate prey and 2 flattened, retractable tentacles which can be rapidly extended to catch prey.

LIFE SPAN. 18 and 24 months

CONSERVATION: IUCN: Data Deficient   <a href=”http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0″ rel=”nofollow”>www.iucnredlist.org/details/162681/0</a>. 2012

REMARKS: One researcher recently claimed M. pfefferi to be the only cuttlefish known to be toxic, asserting that muscle tissue of this species possesses a toxin as deadly as that of its cephalopod relative, the blue-ringed octopus!

They also can produce ink as a defense.

Animals displaying this color pattern have been observed using their lower arms to walk or “amble” along the sea floor while rhythmically waving the wide protective membranes on their arms. It has been suggested that this behavior advertises a poisonous or distasteful nature.

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

One of the most well known features of cuttles is the cuttle bone, which is often used by pet owners to provide calcium for caged birds. Cuttlefish use this multi chambered internal calcified ‘shell’ to change buoyancy by quickly filling or emptying the chambers with gas. Interestingly, while the cuttle bone of most cuttles is as long as the animal’s mantle, the diamond shaped cuttlebone of the Flamboyant is disproportionately small, thin, and only 2/3 to ¾ of the mantle length. The small size of the cuttlebone may make swimming difficult and may accounts for the Flamboyants preference to ‘walk’ along the bottom.

References: California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef  Richard Ross

Advanced Aquarist Volume IX › October 2010 › Aquarium Invertebrates: Metasepia pfefferi – the aptly named Flamboyant Cuttlefish. www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/10/inverts.      Great overview

Animal Diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Metasepia_pfefferi/

Ron’s WordPress Sshortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-hJ.

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/6179762044/in/album-72157659465376212/



KINGDOM   Animalia 

PHYLUM   Mollusca 

CLASS  Cephalopoda 

ORDER   Sepiida 

FAMILY  Sepiidae   

GENUS/SPECIES   Sepia latimanus 




 They are found in waters up to 30 m near tropical coral reefs.


Large fascinating cephalopods with oval mantles  and crescent-shaped clubs .  This species can reach up to 50 cm in mantle length and weigh up to 10 kg. Like many cephalopods, broadclub cuttlefishes can be seen displaying a range of colors and textures. Commonly they are light brown or yellowish with white mottled markings. Males are sometimes dark brown, particularly during courtship and mating. Their arms have longitudinal white bands that appear as broad white blotches when extended. Some of their arms have longitudinal brown bands that extend to their heads. Their dorsal (upper) mantle can sometimes be seen with a saddle mark with small white and brown spots. Their dorsal mantle also has narrow brown transverse bands, and bold, white, transverse stripes and spots. Their eyes are yellow around the ventral (lower) margins and their fins are pale with white, transverse stripes extending onto their mantle and narrow, white bands along their outer margins.

Sepia latimanus  has a variety of different sucker sizes, some that are significantly larger than others. Their cuttlebone is bluntly rounded on either end, with a convex dorsal (curved upper) surface that flattens at the anterior (front) end. Their dorsal mantle is also covered with numerous large papillae and elongate papillae along the sides adjacent to base of each fin.


Hunt during the day and appear to mesmerize prey with its rhythmic colored bands. They feed on small fishes and crustaceans.


 Sepia latimanus  is an important species to fisheries throughout their range and are taken by trawls, hand lines, and spears. They are also caught as bycatch in southeast Asian trawl fisheries.

 LOCATION: Not currently on exhibit 7-12-12

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK:    http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8J

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