The common cuttlefish or European common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is one of the largest and best-known cuttlefish species. It grows to 49 cm in mantle length (ML) and 4 kg in weight. Animals from subtropical seas are smaller and rarely exceed 30 cm in ML.
The common cuttlefish is native to at least the Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, and Baltic Sea, although subspecies have been proposed as far south as South Africa. It lives on sand and mud seabeds to a depth of around 200 m. As in most cuttlefish species, spawning occurs in shallow waters.
Predators and prey
In the wild, S. officinalis is known to prey upon a wide variety of animals. These include: bony fish, copepods, crustaceans (including Astacus leptodactylus, Carcinus sp., Crangon sp., Daphnia sp., Gammarus sp., Mugil sp., Mysis sp., Penaeus sp., Praunus sp., Sphaeroma sp., Squilla sp.), decapod cephalopods, gastropods, lamellibranches, nemerteans, octopods, ostracods, polychaetes, and pteropods.
A 2008 study on S. officinalis revealed that cuttlefish embryos, if visually exposed to a certain species of prey (e.g. crabs), will hunt primarily for that prey in later life. S. officinalis usually prefer shrimp to crabs, but when the embryos were exposed to crabs and the embryos had hatched, the young cuttlefish switched preferences and proceeded to hunt the crabs more often than the shrimp.
- NatureServe (2013). "Sepia officinalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- Reid, A., P. Jereb, & C.F.E. Roper 2005. Family Sepiidae. In: P. Jereb & C.F.E. Roper, eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species known to date. Volume 1. Chambered nautiluses and sepioids (Nautilidae, Sepiidae, Sepiolidae, Sepiadariidae, Idiosepiidae and Spirulidae). FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 1. Rome, FAO. pp. 57–152.
- Roper C.F.E., M.J. Sweeney & C.E. Nauen 1984. Cephalopods of the world. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy. Vol. 3, p. 277.
- Norman, M.D. 2000. Cephalopods: A World Guide. ConchBooks.
- Le-Mao, P. 1985. Place de la seiche Sepia officinalis (mollusque, Cephalopoda) dans les chaines alimentaires du golfe Normano-Breton. Cah. Biol. Mar. 26(3): 331-340.
- Hernández-Garcia, V. (1995). "The diet of the swordfish Xiphias gladius Linnaeus, 1758, in the central east Atlantic, with emphasis on the role of cephalopods." (PDF). Fish. Bull. 93 (2): 403–411.
- Royer, J., M.B. Santos, S.K. Cho, G. Stowasser, G.J. Pierce, H.I. Daly & J.-P. Robin. 1998. Cephalopod consumption by fish in English Channel and Scottish waters. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea: The impact of Cephalopods in the Food Chain and Their Interaction with the Environment, CM/M: 23.
- Boletzky S.v. & R.T. Hanlon. 1983. A Review of the Laboratory Maintenance, Rearing and Culture of Cephalopod Molluscs. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria: Proceedings of the Workshop on the Biology and Resource Potential of Cephalopods, Melbourne, Australia, 9–13 March 1981, Roper, Clyde F.E., C.C. Lu &F.G. Hochberg, ed. 44: 147-187.
- Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Clemence Lesimple, and Ludovic Dickel. 2008. Embryonic visual learning in the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis. Animal Behaviour 76: 131–134
- Walker, M. 2008. Cuttlefish spot target prey early. BBC News, June 5, 2008.
- Current Classification of Recent Cephalopoda
- Adam, W. & W.J. Rees. 1966. A Review of the Cephalopod Family Sepiidae. John Murray Expedition 1933-34, Scientific Reports 11(1): 1-165, 46 plates.
- Fluckiger, M.; Jackson, G. D.; Nichols, P.; Virtue, P.; Daw, A.; Wotherspoon, S. (2008). "An experimental study of the effect of diet on the fatty acid profiles of the European Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis )". Mar. Biol. 154 (2): 363–372. doi:10.1007/s00227-008-0932-0.
- Hanlon, R. T.; Messenger, J. B. (1988). "Adaptive Coloration in Young Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis L.): The Morphology and Development of Body Patterns and Their Relation to Behaviour". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 320 (1200): 437–487. JSTOR 2396667. doi:10.1098/rstb.1988.0087.
- "CephBase: Common cuttlefish". Archived from the original on 2005.
- Taxa Associated with the Family Sepiidae Keferstein, 1866