Flamboyant cuttlefish occur in the Indo-Pacific Ocean between northern Australia and southern New Guinea, as well as some islands in the Philippines. They can be found in sheltered areas of sand in shallow water where there is a considerable bottom debris such as dead leaves, logs, algae or human junk. While their bodies are typically brown to maroon or black, they often have colorful yellow or red colors at the ends of their arms and extremities. Cuttlefish have an internal shell, called a cuttlebone, which helps regulate buoyancy. In the flamboyant cuttlefish, the cuttlebone is small, resulting in a cuttlefish that spends most of its time on the seafloor.
  • Size

    Common length 2.4-3.1 inches (6-8 cm)
  • Diet

    Diet consists of small fish, crustaceans and gastropods
  • Range

    Occurs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean between northern Australia and southern New Guinea, as well as some islands in the Philippines
  • Habitat

    Found primarily in sheltered areas of sand in shallow water

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration ranges from dark brown to maroon or black, often with yellow or red at the ends of the arms and extremities.
  • Typically well camouflaged, but can display a brilliant pattern of bright colors.
  • Body is a short, broad oval with two lateral fins and multiple pairs of flat, flap-like papillae on its dorsal surface.
  • Has eight short arms circling the mouth and two longer tentacles used for feeding.
  • Common length is about 2.4-3.1 inches (6-8 cm).

Animal Fact

Cuttlefish have an internal shell, called a cuttlebone, which helps regulate buoyancy. In the flamboyant cuttlefish, the cuttlebone is small, resulting in a cuttlefish that spends most of its time on the seafloor.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of small fish, crustaceans and gastropods.
  • Catches its prey with two long, extendable tentacles.

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Indo-Pacific Ocean between northern Australia and southern New Guinea, as well as some islands in the Philippines.
  • Found in sheltered areas of sand in shallow water where there is a considerable bottom debris such as dead leaves, logs, algae or human junk.

Reproduction & Growth

  • Female spawns large white eggs into crevices or under ledges in coral, rock or wood.
  • Direct developing species, meaning the eggs hatch into a larval state, which resembles a smaller version of the adult form, before growing into maturity.

Conservation Status

  • “Data Deficient” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Can swim quickly by using its siphon to expel water from its body cavity, providing jet propulsion.
  • Cuttlefish have an internal shell, called a cuttlebone, which helps regulate buoyancy. In the flamboyant cuttlefish, the cuttlebone is small, resulting in a cuttlefish that spends most of its time on the seafloor.
  • Ocean acidification caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may pose a threat to all cuttlefish by interfering with the cuttlebone development and hindering the ability to regulate buoyancy.

Sources

  • www.iucnredlist.org
  • Coral Sea Reef Guide. Halstead.
  • Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific. Gosliner/Behrens/Williams.
  • Invertebrates. Brusca/Brusca.
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