A trio of Bigfin Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) were recently introduced to the Boneless Beauties gallery. This species is characterized by a large oval fin extending throughout its mantle which gives it a slightly similar look to cuttlefish.
Bigfin Reef Squid can be found at depths of up to 100 meters across a huge range of Indo-Pacific waters, from Hawaii to the East African Coast. Some have even been introduced into the Mediterranean Sea.
Here at the Aquarium, caring for squid is similar to other Cephalopods, such as Octopuses and Cuttlefish, but “a lot harder,” according to Aquarist Sharyl Crossley.
“They are very sensitive and get spooked and jump,” she explains. “They eat about every two hours and typically only live about 350 days (give or take). That’s the shortest lifespan of any cephalopods we keep here.”
Similar to some of their cephalopod cousins, their upper surfaces are covered with chromatophores, special cells that allow them to change color. This behavior is helpful in the wild, where it can serve as camouflage or as a tactic to ward off predators. But squid are proficient predators themselves, as their tentacles can quickly grab and hold their prey.
Let’s welcome these cool new creatures with a round of cephalo-plause!