Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    notoides
    Genus
    Idiosepius
    Family
    Idiosepiidae
    Order
    Idiosepiida
    Subclass
    Coleoidea
    Class
    Cephalopoda
    Phylum
    Mollusca
  • Size Range
    The females tend to be larger (body to 2.5 cm) than the males (body to 1.6cm).

Pygmy squids are the smallest of all the Cephalopods. The order Idiosepiida (and family Idiosepiidae) is represented by a single genus. Seven species have been described (five from the western Pacific Ocean and two from South Africa).

Identification

Idiosepius notoides can be recognised by the rounded fins at the end of the body and the short white lines around the eyes. Their colour pattern is typically yellow to brown. The anterior edge of the mantle is not fused to the head, and males have more than 10 suckers on each of the modified lower arms.

Habitat

I. notoides is abundant in seagrass beds in bays and inlets.

Distribution

Southwestern Pacific; southern and eastern Australia. From southern Queensland to the midcoast of Western Australia.

Feeding and diet

I. notoides ambushes many of the small crustaceans that share their habitat, by using the glue gland on their body to hide under seagrass leaves. These squid rapidly approach shrimp from behind, and bite through the nerve cord to immobilise them.

Breeding behaviours

Pygmy Squids mate by the male adhering spermatophores to the female typically below the mouth, but also on the head, arms and body. Females use this sperm to fertilise round eggs which are glued singly or in clumps on the underside of seagrass.

References

  • Jereb, P., & C.F.E Roper (eds) (2005) Cephalopods of the World: Chambered Nautiluses and Sepioids, Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Catalogue for Fishery Purposes, Rome, No. 4, Vol. 1
  • 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)