- Range depth
- 0 to 200 m
- 0.00 to 656.17 ft
measures up to 45 cm in mantle length, ranging from 30 cm in subtropic areas to 49 cm in temperate areas. Weights are between 2 kg (subtropic areas) and 4 kg (temperate areas). The largest recorded individual reached a mantle length of 60 cm. European cuttlefish have large eyes and a mouth with beak like jaws located at the base of the mantle. The mantle houses reproductive and digestive organs, as well an internal shell called the cuttlebone. The cuttlebone shape is oblong with a rounded posterior end and an anterior end that tapers to a point.
The body of S. officianalis is broad and dorso-ventrally flattened, having an oval shaped cross section. A pair of flat, wide fins runs the length of the mantle. The mouth is surrounded by eight arms and two longer tentacles, all equipped with suckers. Mature exhibit a zebra stripe pattern on the dorsal surface of their mantles during breeding season. Adult males are distinguished by white and black zebra bands on their fourth arm, as well as white arm spots. is able to change the color and even texture of its skin using structures called chromatophores, leucophores, and iridophores. These structures function to camouflage this species to its variable surroundings. Generally, however, has a mottled black or brown color. (Jereb and Roper, 2005; "Cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis at Marine Bio", 2010; "Common cuttlefish- Sepia officinalis", 2003)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- sexes colored or patterned differently
- Range mass
- 2 to 4 kg
- 4.41 to 8.81 lb
- Range length
- 60 (high) cm
- 23.62 (high) in
- Average length
- 45 cm
- 17.72 in
Females deposit clusters of eggs on seaweed, shells, and other substrate along the seafloor. Eggs measure 6 to 9 mm in diameter, hatching after about 2 months, or 30-90 days, depending on water temperature. Once hatched, the young (Jereb and Roper, 2005; King, 2009; "Common cuttlefish- Sepia officinalis", 2003)have a total length of 50 mm. Newly hatched young are well developed and can almost immediately start feeding on small prey. Growth rates vary with temperature, the young growing faster at lower temperatures. generally reaches maturity at 14 to 18 months of age.
- Mating System
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- European cuttlefish typically breed only once in their lifetime.
- Breeding season
- European cuttlefish breed during the spring and summer.
- Range number of offspring
- 100 to 1000
- Range gestation period
- 30 to 90 days
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 14 to 18 months
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 13 to 18 months
Fertilized eggs are stored in the oviduct of the female ("Cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis at Marine Bio", 2010)until they are ready to be deposited. Eggs are produced with deposits of ink, to color and, therefore, camouflage the eggs for protection. A young hatches with a yolk to provide nutritious support until they are able to catch their own prey.
- Parental Investment
- Typical lifespan
- 1 to 2 years
- Typical lifespan
- Typical lifespan
- 1 to 2 years
- Typical lifespan
- Range territory size
- 5300 to 23700 m^2
The home range for (Aitken, et al., 2005)varies from 90 to 550 meters. This means that the typical area a cuttlefish will roam in is between 5,300 square meters and 23,700 square meters.
Communication and Perception
- Communication Channels
gastropods, nemertean worms, polychaetes and even other cuttlefish. is an ambush predator that hunts by blending in with its background and sneaking up on prey. When the prey is close, has two modes of attack. One is to shoot out its two longer tentacles, grab the prey using the suckers on the tentacular clubs at the tips of the tentacles and bring the prey into its beak to feed. The other attack mode is pounce on its prey and use its arms to capture and maneuver the prey while it tears at the prey with its radula and beak. Both adult and immature cuttlefish hunt for food during the night. Some studies have shown that cuttlefish embryos have the ability to learn about prey items while still encased in their eggs using their fully-developed eyes to observe prey species. Hatchlings that observed crabs while inside their eggs preferred to eat crab over other prey items. (Boletzky and Hanlon, 1983; Dunlop, 2003; Mangold and Young, 1996; Walker, 2008)preys upon a wide variety of animals. It primarily feeds on crustaceans and fish, but has also been known to eat
- Animal Foods
- aquatic or marine worms
- aquatic crustaceans
- Anti-predator Adaptations
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
This species of cuttlefish are believed to be abundant and faces no threat of extinction. Studies indicate that fishing is occurring around the maximum sustainable yield, so no special conservation status is applied to them. (Royer, et al., 2006)
Ae Lin Compton (author), Rutgers University, Laura Wiley (author), Rutgers University, David V. Howe (editor), Rutgers University, Renee Mulcrone (editor), Special Projects.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
eats mollusks, members of Phylum Mollusca
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
- pet trade
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
an animal that mainly eats fish
having more than one female as a mate at one time
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
offspring are all produced in a single group (litter, clutch, etc.), after which the parent usually dies. Semelparous organisms often only live through a single season/year (or other periodic change in conditions) but may live for many seasons. In both cases reproduction occurs as a single investment of energy in offspring, with no future chance for investment in reproduction.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
uses sight to communicate
- young precocial
young are relatively well-developed when born
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