Sepia aculeata   Van Hasselt,  1835 (Cuttlefish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Cephalopoda

Image copyrights: Starfish

Size: 19-23 cm ML; head length 21-26.1 mm; tentacle length 30-50 mm

Max. weight reported: 1,300 g

Color: Dorsal mantle with a fine, dark-pigmented, transverse, reticulate color pattern, a pale reflective line along bases of fins.

Mantle about half as broad as long; tentacular club long, slender with 10-12 minute, subequal suckers in each row across the club in males, 13-14 suckers across in females, club protective membranes not united, extending proximally along oral face of stalk as lo ridges, Left arm IV hectocotylized: about 12 normal suckers (3 series) proximally followed by about 5 or 6 series of very small suckers in ventral longitudinal rows, corresponding suckers of dorsal longitudinal rows extremely minute (or absent) in a deep, smooth groove, suckers normal distally. The mantle is roughly oval, broadest near the anterior end; ventral margin of the mantle concave in the middle, middorsal projection has well-excavated sides ; fins narrow and originate a little behind the anterior margin of the mantle on the sides and extend to the end of the body where they are almost in contact with each other; head narrower than mantle opening ; funnel short and does not reach the base of the ventral arms; buccal lappets surrounding mouth are seven, with minute suckers at their extreme ends. Arms short and subequal in length ; dorsal arms slightly rounded ventral arms provided with strong' swimming membranes. Suction cups uniformly quadriserial on all arms and have dentate horny rings; ventral arm of the male is hectocotylized at the base; tentacles slender and relatively thinner than the sessile arms; tentacular clubs elongate but not much expanded; swimming membrane of the club very narrow ; suckers are numerous and minute in size; The cuttlebone is very distinct, thin, flat and elongately ovoid in outline and possesses a longitudinal mid-ventral ridge in the striated area and the striae are notched in the middle; the posterior inner cone is not plate-like but raised into a thick rounded ridge; there is a small spine at the posterior extremity which is slightly pointed upwards. On the dorsal surface the cuttlebone is rough due to the presence of numerous small tubercles which form three definitive longitudinal ridges. On the ventral side, the cuttlebone is concave and a deep median groove is present in the striated zone.

Synonym (s)
Sepia aculeata Van Hasselt, 1835
(Senior synonym)
Acanthosepion hasselti Rochebrune, 1884
(Junior synonym)
Acanthosepion javanicum Rochebrune, 1884
(Junior synonym)
Sepia microcotyledon Ortmann, 1891
(Junior synonym)
Sepia aculeata d'Orbigny, 1848
Sepia aculeata Jothinayagam, 1987
Sepia aculeata Ferussac et d'Orbigny, 1835-48
Sepia aculeata Massy, 1916
Sepia aculeata Silas, 1968

Common Name (s)
• Needle Cuttlefish (English)
• Cuttle Fish
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Used as food and fish bait. The cuttlebones washed ashore are collected and exported for polishing wood and glass.)

Habitat:  Demersal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Crustaceans (Palaemon serrifer, Neomysis japonica), small fishes, polychete worms


• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.98) (Long: 72.83) INDIA
• West Bengal, Sundarbans (Lat: 21.5) (Long: 88.17) INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam Coast (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.27) INDIA
• West Bengal, Matla River INDIA
• West Bengal, South 24 Parganas INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh INDIA
• Karnataka INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Orissa, Baleshwar Bay INDIA
• Orissa INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Ennore INDIA
• Kerala, Kochi INDIA
• Karnataka, Karwar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA
• West Bengal, Sandheads INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Dhanushkodi INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Vedalai INDIA
• Kerala INDIA
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 1987-2006)

Literature Source(s)
  • Jothinayagam, JT (1987) Cephalopoda of the Madras cost (Zoological Survey of India) Technical monograph no 15 The Director ZSI, Calcutta 85
  • Subba Rao, NV and Dey, A (2000) Catalogue of marine molluscs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Occasional paper no 187 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 1-323 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Voss, AN; Vecchione, M; Ronald, BT and Sweeney, JM (1998) Systematics and biogeography of cephalopods Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C 1(586) 1-276 Available at - NIO, RC, Kochi
  • Mandal, AK and Nandi, NC (1989) Fauna of Sundarban mangrove ecosystem, West Bengal, India Fauna of Conservations 3 35431 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Bal, DV and Rao, KV (1984) Marine fisheries Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited 470 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Subba Rao, NV; Dey, A and Barua, S (1992) Estuarine and marine molluscs Fauna of West Bengal Part 9 (State fauna series 3) ZSI, Calcutta 129-268 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Rao, NVS; Rao, KVS and Maitra, S (1991) Marine molluscs State fauna series 1: Fauna of Orissa Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta Part 3 1-175 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Samuel, VD; Chacko, D and Edward, JKP (2005) Preliminary study on the molluscan diversity of “the lost world’’– Dhanushkodi, east coast of India Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 54-58 Available at -
  • Sarvesan, R (1974) Cephalopods The commercial molluscs of India Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 25 63-83 Available at -
  • Sundaram, KS; Sarvesan, R; Mohamed, KH and Shanbhogue, SL (1969) Catalogue of molluscs, prawns, stomatopods and marine algae in the reference collections of the central marine fisheries research institute Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 9 1-52 Available at -
  • Ramani, K; Ammini, PL; Srinivasan, J; Najeemudeen, SH; Beena, MR; George, KP; Seynudeen, MB; Subbaraman, G; Anandan, K; Khambadkar, LL; Augustine, SK; Pugazhendi, D; Rudhramurthy, N; Subramani, S; Seetharaman, S; Batcha, HK and Sankaralingam, S (2010) An overview of marine fisheries in India during 2007 Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Kochi 203 1-14 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ammini, PL; Khambadkar, LL and Augustine, SK (2008) A brief report on the marine fisheries of Puri, Orissa Marine Fisheries Information Service Technical and Extension Series CMFRI 195 6-10 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

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