30 June 2018

Another Shy Cuttlefish

Some time ago I shared a photograph and video clip of a small Cuttlefish I found in a rock pool at the Woody Cape. I always keep my eyes open for another glimpse of this little creature, and I was lucky enough to find another one during my previous visit to the area.

I encountered the first Cuttlefish (over here) during the day. At the time it seemed to pretend to be a dark grey pebble. However, this time around I was visiting the rock pools at night and this little guy (or gal) put on a very different show.

I think it is a Tuberculate Cuttlefish (Vratjies Inkvis - Sepia tuberculata)

Overall it had a much more "spiky" appearance than before. I assume that it was trying to fit in with the texture of the red sea algae growing in this small tidal pool.

However, it still tried look like a pebble, albeit only briefly...

"Erm, I'm not a Cuttlefish, I'm a fuzzy pebble? Right?"

I think it realizing that there aren't any other fuzzy-pebbles around and instead opted to stick to a more general whitish colour. Or maybe it was spooked by the light from my headlamp.

"Eh, I meant: I'm not a Cuttlefish, I'm a whitish piece of sea-stuff. Right?"

I love how they use their two large tentacles as little arms. It is also interesting how the pupils of Cuttlefish are a strange horizontal wave-like pattern.

Below is a short video clip of the little critter swimming around and trying to avoid my attention.

Video: "I'm just an innocent little Cuttlefish. I'm not well-suited for the limelight..."

I'm not entirely sure of the species, nor sure where to find good information about South African Cuttlefish, but I believe it is likely that it feeds on shrimps and uses sticky glands to help it stick to the rocks.

"Nothing to see here... I'm just some floating sea-stuff... Not a Cuttlefish at all..."

Finding the Cuttlefish at night was a pleasant surprise. I want to try and visit the tidal pools more often at night. Who knows what else might be waiting to be found.

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