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

Identification

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.

Size range

Body to 40cm.

Similar Species

May be more than one species being treated under this name across tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Distribution

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.

Habitat

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.

Classification

Species:
lessoniana
Genus:
Sepioteuthis
Family:
Loliginidae
Order:
Teuthida
Subclass:
Coleoidea
Class:
Cephalopoda
Phylum:
Mollusca

What does this mean?

References

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.
 


Allison Runck
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