The Great Barrier Reef Library

A comprehensive guide to The Great Barrier Reef

Sepioidea – Cuttlefish


By on January 19, 2018


The order of Sepioidea includes 120 species of Cuttlefish, which live in oceans worldwide. They range in size from 15cm, to 50 cm in mantle (body) length alone.4  They are one of the smartest invertebrates on Earth, with highly developed sensory organs and excellent eyesight, memory and the ability to learn.1,2 They have a thick internal shell, called a cuttlebone, used for buoyancy control. They have 8 arms, lined with suckers, as well as two, retractable tentacles with clubs at the end for striking their prey.

Cuttlefish also have the ability to change the colour and texture of their skin, to help them stay camouflaged, used for both protection and hunting.  Some species of Cuttlefish have even been know to mimic Hermit Crabs to hunt!It is also well known that Cuttlefish have the ability to squirt ink.  This confuses predators, but may also affect their senses of taste and smell.2

Video appears courtesy of biopixel and approved by Richard Fitzpatrick5

You can find a list of all of the groups of Sepioidea found on The Great Barrier Reef, below

Family – A lower level of taxonomic classification, grouping together species that show many similarities