Cuttlefish

Sepia sp

About This Animal

SIZE: 12 - 16 inches long

RANGE: From the Red Sea to Japan and also Australia

HABITAT: Shallow waters and reefs to depths of 200m

DIET: Small crustaceans and fish

'Cuttle' is a reference to their unique internal shell, the cuttlebone. Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but mollusks. A cuttlefish can rapidly change the texture of its skin. This technique is often used to communicate to other cuttlefish during mating rituals, but also helps the cuttlefish hide from predators.  If hiding doesn’t work, the cuttlefish can quickly jet away, leaving behind a cloud of foul tasting black ink in the face of its attacker. 

Like many species of cuttlefish, the Pharaoh cuttlefish is a valuable part of large-scale commercial fisheries through Asia.  Cuttlefish are harvested for their meat.