Cuttlefish (Gozo & Malta)



Gozo & MaltaAtlantic Species

Common Name: Cuttlefish

Scientific Names: Sepia officinalis

Description: Larger individuals are 5-10 cm+ and are more easily seen. Cuttlefish have a plump but flattened oval body surrounded by a rippling fin used for gentle swimming. Ten pointed tentacles project forward from the head but often only eight are visible. They have a wide and changing repertoire of body colours and patterns.

Distinctive Features: A pair of large, distinctive eyes with flaps of skin projecting down from the top. Often pose with two tentacles raised.

Abundance: Solitary. Difficult to see but probably quite common.

Habitat & Behaviour: Most often seen over sand and sea grass beds where it sometimes burrows into the sediment to conceal itself as the video shows. Like the octopus, it is a master of camouflage, and will often only have its eyes protruding above the sand. It can instantaneously change the colour and texture of its skin.

Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers: It will hold its ground but if provoked will jet off backwards and often leave a screen of ink as a decoy.

Other Names: Sicc

Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Russell & Gill Bennett
Video: Bob Earll & Luke Adshead

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