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Southern Calamari Squid

 
Introduction:

This is a common squid caught by anglers at night, the black ink often staining piers and jetties.

Identification:

Sepioteuthis australis presents colour patterns that vary from even orange-brown,to white with black bands, to almost transparent. They have diamond-shaped fins that extend the whole length of the body, widest mid-way along the body.

Size:

Mantle lengths up to 50cm.

Distribution:

Southern Australian coastal waters; from southern end of Great Barrier Reef around to Ningaloo Reef in
Western Australia. Also found in coastal waters of the North Island of New Zealand.

Habitat:

This large squid is common over reefs, sand and seagrass beds in shallow, inshore waters. A neritic, demersal species commonly found in depths from the surface to 10m.

Feeding and Diet:

S. australis are reported to be voracious feeders that often approach divers at night to feed on the fish and crustaceans attracted to the lights. They are predominantly active at night, but can also be seen active during the day. This squid is very fast at jet propulsion, and excellent at catching fast fish and shrimp.

Breeding Behaviours:

Males use spectacular displays during courtship and when fighting off other males. Females lay their eggs in clumps of finger-like egg strings (2-6 eggs) at the bases of weed and seagrass. Egg strings are cylindrical when first laid but become more like a string of beads as they mature.