Cephalopods are some of the most impressive invertebrates in the sea. Members of class Cephalopoda, which includes squid, cuttlefish, octopuses, and nautiluses, have captivated humans for centuries—and for good reason! You will be able to find in this group the squid, the inventive mimic octopus, the nautilus, the venomous blue-ringed octopus, etc…
Today, we want to take a moment to acknowledge one particular cephalopod who doesn’t always get the attention it deserves especially while you will have a meeting with him in Komodo !. This captivating, mix of pink, yellow, brown, and orange colors creature is hard to find, so many are unaware of how wonderful it truly is.
It’s the Pfeffer’s flamboyant cuttlefish, Metasepia pfefferi that is one of the smallest cuttlefish growing up to 8cm in length and the prettiest of the species making it a favorite subject for scuba divers and underwater photographers.
Native to sandy habitats in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) only reach 7cm in size.
Fact 1: They aren’t good swimmer!
Like all cuttlefish have a ‘cuttlebone’ that they use for buoyancy. Unlike many of its relatives, the flamboyant cuttlefish prefers to “walk” along the seafloor rather than swim. It uses two arms and fins to make leg-like appendages quietly creep across the seafloor. This behavior, called ambling, is only seen in one other cephalopod—the paint pot cuttlefish. In Komodo, you will be able to see some in some dive sites with Dragon Dive Komodo.
Fact 2: They are squirting Ink!
Like other cuttlefish, the flamboyant use their ink to deceive predators. It will eject the ink into the water to form an ink cloud while it swims to safety. However, it’s a very small squirt!
Fact 3: They could kill you so be aware!
They are the only species of cuttlefish known to have any poisons and they carry a unique toxin in their muscles.
Fact 4: They die after copulating!
Like other cephalopods, the flamboyant cuttlefish breeds once and then dies. The female lays her eggs one by one and attaches them to the roof of the cave and dies shortly after. The female will hide eggs in crevices or on ledges in coral, rock or wood, or even the odd coconut shell (seen on BBC video)!
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