Species Index

Sepia apama
(Gray, 1849)

Common Name: Giant Cuttlefish

Distribution: Seasonally common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Endemic to southern Australia it is recorded from Shark Bay in Western Australia, around the south of the continent to the Sunshine Coast in southern Queensland, and including Tasmania.

Ecological Notes: Frequents rocky reefs, kelp forests and seagrass meadows to a depth of at least 100m.

Additional Notes: Primarily diurnal, they are usually observed by divers within the crevices or small caves in rocky reef, or amongst the fronds in kelp forests. Known for their dazzling light show when mating or approached too closely, they are masters of camouflage, able to change their skin texture from smooth to a variety of flaps and protrusions almost instantaneously. They prey on small fish, crustaceans and other cuttlefish species. Males (top and bottom photograph, foreground in second photograph) possess wide webs off the lower arm pair and are usually larger than the female, (background in second photograph and in third photograph).

The largest cuttlefish species, grows to a length of 1m.

References: Davie, Peter. Wild Guide to Moreton Bay and Adjacent Coasts. Second Edition. Published by Queensland Museum. Vol 2, p.189.

Graham J. Edgar. Australian Marine Life, 2nd Edition, 2008. Reed New Holland Publishers. p.366