SepiidaeKatharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
DiagnosisA sepioid ...
- with a cuttlebone.
- with body somewhat flattened dorsoventrally.
- Arms IV flattened ventrally with broad lateral margins extending onto head.
- Left arm IV hectocotylized.
- Tentacles, including clubs, completely retractile into pockets occupying ventral region of head.
- Eye pore inside of ventral eyelid.
- Funnel locking-apparatus short, oval to ear-shaped.
- Dorsal mantle margin free from head.
- Mantle adductor absent.
- Fins narrow (length ca. 4 or more times individual fin width), extend almost full length of mantle.
- Attachment of posterior fin-lobes adjacent.
- Shell a cuttlebone.
The young hatch with a yolk reserve that allows them to survive for a few days in the absence of food. When food, especially mysids, is available, the hatchlings begin to attack immediately. Swimming prey are seized by the tentacular clubs. Benthic prey, such as crabs, are pounced upon and seized with the arms. While crustacea are the main prey in younger Sepia, subadults and adults also eat fishes (Guerra, 1985; Castro and Guerra, 1989, 11990).
Growth is fast. The conversion rate is 30 to 40% (Pascual, 1978). In warm waters, animals grow faster and mature at a smaller size than those living in cold (temperate) waters. The shell or cuttlebone grows by adding new chambers bounded by lamellae (the septa of the striated zone) which are visble on the posterior ventral surface of the cuttlebone. In tropical species, a chamber may be formed daily so that the number of septa corresponds to the age in days. In temperate water however, it takes two to three days for a new chamber to be completed. Sepia officinals hatches with a cuttlebone of about 10 septa (Boletzky, 1983).
Spawning takes place over a prolonged period of time or throughout the year. Spawning is intermittent (Boletzky, 1975; Mangold et al., 1993). The number of mature eggs found in the ovary at any one time is not an indicator of fecundity. In Sepia officinalis the total of laid eggs surpasses by several times the holding capacity of the ovary. The endocrine and nervous control mechanisms of reproduction, are complicated (Boucaud-Camou et al., 1994).
Spawning migrations exist in temperate water species but are often absent in tropical ones. The European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis migrates south-north (Atlantic Ocean, North Sea) or offshore-inshore (Mediterranean) for spawning. The life-span of sepiids varies between a few months and 1 to 2 or 3 years according to the adult size and the environment (temperature, food availability).
The two other genera of the family, Metasepius and Sepiella, occur only in South African waters and in the Western Pacific.
The members of this family are benthic and inhabit primarily coastal waters but are also found on the slope to a depth of about 500 meters.
Wells (1958, 1962) has shown in learning experiments that hatchlings attack mysids presented behind a glass, although there is no reward. Prey recognition is innate which gives the hatchlings a built-in-mechanism that assures attacks on mysids. Also, like the adults, hatchlings do not follow a prawn that passes out of sight (Messenger, 1973). There is no evidence of learning in hatchlings and very young animals. At two months of age there is improvement but retention is still poor. At four months of age, learning, retention and hunting behaviour are exhibited (Messenger, 1973, 1977). The vertical lobe system which is concerned with learning and memory (see Young, 1965) is less developed in hatchlings that it is in adults (Froesch, 1971; Wirz, 1959).
|The Sepiidae have a tropical/temperate distribution. They are mostly shallow-water animals although they are known from depths of about 600 m (Lu and Roper, 1991). They have an unusual biogeographic pattern (seen on the right, in white) in which they are absent from the Americas. Young, et al. (1998) suggest that by the time the family evolved in the Old World, the northern migration bridge across the Atlantic was closed to these warm water species.||image info|
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Boucher-Rodoni, R., and Mangold, K. 1985. Ammonia exretion during feeding and starvation in Octopus vulgaris. Mar. Biol. 86:193-197.
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Mangold, K. M., R. E. Young and M. Nixon. 1993. Growth versus maturation in cephalopods. p. 697-704. In: T. Okutani, R. K. O'Dor and T. Kubodera (eds.). The Recent Advances in Cephalopod Fishery Biology. Tokai University Press. Tokyo.
Messenger, J.B. 1973. Learning in the cuttlefish, Sepia. Anim. Behav. 21:801-826.
Wells, M.J. 1962. Early learning in Sepia. Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. 8:149-169.
Wells, M.J. 1958. Factors affect reactions to Mysis by newly hatched Sepia. Behav. 13:96-111.
Wirz, K. 1959. Biometric studies of the cephalopod nervous system. Bull Biol. France Belgique 43:71-117.
Young, R. E., M. Vecchione and D. Donovan. 1998. The evolution of coleoid cephalopods and their present biodiversity and ecology. South African Jour. Mar. Sci.., 20: 393-420.
Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Page copyright © 1996 Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Citing this page:
Mangold (1922-2003), Katharina M. 1996. Sepiidae http://tolweb.org/Sepiidae/19987/1996.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 01 January 1996 (under construction).