Animal Species:Bigfin Reef Squid – Sepioteuthis lessoniana Lesson, 1830
This species is popular for human consumption and is of importance to major fisheries throughout South-east Asia.
Standard Common Name
Bigfin Reef Squid
Pear-shaped fins extend the length of the body, the widest point being closer to the rear end of the body. Colour patterns include black bands to almost transparent, with a pair of iridescent transverse spots present on the mantle.
Body to 40cm.
May be more than one species being treated under this name across tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Large distribution throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific from Hawaii to the Red Sea. Found in Northern Australian waters from northern NSW/Southern Queensland around to Shark Bay in Western Australia.
Sepioteuthis lessoniana is a large muscular squid found in shallow waters up to 100m depth. They are typically found on coral reefs and seagrass meadows, moving in to coral reefs particularly at night to feed.
Feeding and Diet
S. lessoniana is a voracious feeder, mainly on prawns and fish- but also on other crustaceans such as stomatopods and crabs.
Other behaviours and adaptations
This squid forms schools of similar-sized animals, possibly due to regular cannibalism between size classes. The spawning season is dependent on the oceanographic conditions and can be quite extended.
Mating and reproduction
Males perform elaborate courtship displays during breeding. Females lay jelly-like egg strings (3-7 eggs) enclosed in finger-shaped capsules on hard objects- including mangrove roots, twigs, stones and corals.
Norman, M., (2000) Cephalopods- A World Guide, ConchBooks, Germany (Hackenheim)
Norman, M & A. Reid., (2000) A Guide to Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopuses of Australasia, CSIRO Publishing, Victoria (Collingwood)
Roper, C.F.E., M.J. Sweeney & C.E. Nauen, (1984) FAO species catalogue. Vol. 3. Cephalopods of the World: An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries, FAO Fish Synopsis, 125(3): 1-277.