The Caribbean Reef Squid

Found throughout the Virgin Islands, typically close to shore, these small squids (six to twelve inches as adults) frequently change color and are constantly flashing intricate dots patterns as they communicate with each other.

The Caribbean Reef Squid

Sepioteuthis sepiodea
Class: Cephalopoda
Order: Squid, Teuthodea
Family: Loliginidae

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The Caribbean Reef Squid is a year-round resident of Buck Island, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They are readily seen from late Winter to mid-Summer. Look around you while diving. They are sometimes difficult to see against the ocean’s colors.

Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) (Blainville, 1823) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Find them inshore along the beach and shoreline of Shipwreck Cove, wandering out over Wye Reef and in the Turtlegrass beds of Turtle Cove.

The Caribbean Reef Squid is constantly changing its colors and spots but there are fairly common colors for day and night.

During the day they may appear Bluish grey to brown around the body and have white spots running along their backs.

Sepioteuthis sepioidea – Caribbean reef squid SlovenĨina: Karibský kalmár – Sepioteuthis sepioidea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The night time appearance is mottled as well as spotted in green, brown, white and lavender. Sometimes they can be iridescent.

They are not big creatures. They range only six to twelve inches as adults. The maximum depth observed is 60 feet. Minimum depth is sea level.


Sepioteuthis sepioidea (Caribbean Reef Squid). (Whitebalance correction: Erik Bjers) Français : Un calmar de récif des Caraïbes (Sepioteuthis sepioidea). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caribbean Reef Squid are wary creatures that often jet away when they perceive that you have detected them. A slow, nonthreatening approach can sometimes get you close enough to see them change colors and dot patterns as they communicate with each other.

They are typically seen in aggregations from three or four to a dozen but on occassion can be witnessed in much larger groupings.

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