Sepia elliptica   Hoyle,  1885 (Cuttlefish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Cephalopoda

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: Max length 17.5 cm ML (male)

Color: The dorsal surface of mantle and head is pale greyish in fresh specimens and becomes very dark sometime after capture.

The mantle is broadly ovoid in outline, stout and broad at the mantle opening, not very much tapering at the, posterior end. The mid-dorsal projection, over the head inbetween the eye lobes, is sharp and prominent. The funnel is conical, short and does not reach the base of ventral arms. The head is short but broad with prominent eye lobes. Arms are short, stout, subequal in length, about half in mantle length and have acuminate tips. The suckers are arranged in four uniform series on all the oral arms; they are moderate in size and gradually become reduced towards the distal ends. The horny rims of the suckers are not provided with distinct teeth but marked with notches. The left ventral arm in male is hectocotilyzed. The
hectocotilyzed arm is normal for one third of its length from the base and the middle third of the arm is modified with great reduction of the suckers especially the dorsal suckers. The distal portion of the arm is not affected by hectocotilyzation. The tentacles are short and about as long as mantle length; the stem is thin and triangular in cross section; the clubs are moderate in size, slightly expanded and bear about eight to ten rows of minute suckers of uniform size; the protective membrane is well developed on either side and united at the base, swimming membrane is broad. The horny rings of the suckers are smooth without teeth. The cuttlebone is broad, thick, and typically elliptical in outline. The shell is acuminate at the anterior end, more so in females, and the posterior part is slightly wide. The terminal spine is thick, sharp and curved dorsally. The dorsal surface of the cuttlebone is somewhat smooth and there are three feeble longitudinal ridges. The ventral surface has two prominent lateral ridges and three longitudinal furrows in the striated area and consequently the striae show three or more sinuations along the entire length. The last loculus is convex whereas the posterior part is hollowed.

Synonym (s)
Acanthosepion ellipticum adjacens Iredale, 1926
Sepia esculenta non Hoyle, 1885
Sepia stellifera non Homenko & Khromov, 1984

Common Name (s)
• Ovalbone Cuttlefish (English)
• Cuttle Fish (English)
• Ottukanava
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal
Prey:  Shrimps, prawns


• Orissa, Ganjam Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Silas, EG (1968) Cephalopoda of the west coast of India collected during the cruises of the research vessel Varuna, with a catalogue of the species known from the Indian Ocean Proceedings of the symposium on Mollusca Part I, Symposium Series 3 Marine Biological Association of India, India 277-359 Available at - NIO RC, Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Silas, EG; Sarvesan, R; Rao, KS; Nair, KP and Meiyappan, MM (1985) Identity of common species of cephalopods of India Cephalopod bionomics, fisheries and resources of the exclusive economic zone of India Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 37 13-37 Available at -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-19

Back to Search