Mollusc Iridescence & the Stubby Squid

March 29th, 2007

Stubby Squid - Iridescence

I finally was able to capture a stubby squid (rossia pacifica) changing color from reddish purple to iridescent. The small (3″) squid held its pose for just long enough for me to snap a couple shots. They typically change to the lighter-pale iridescent colors when they feel threatened. My dive light gave little squiddy just enough of a scare to change his color for a fraction of a second, but not enough to make him flee.

From The Cephalopod Page:

The Stubby squid, Rossia pacifica, is a member of the sepiolid family of cephalopods. Although sepiolids are commonly called squid, they are not true squid. They look like a combination between octopus and squid but are actually more closely related to cuttlefish. Like cuttlefish, they can bury themselves in the sand. Like octopuses, they mostly live on the bottom rather than swimming in the water. They have eight suckered arms and two long tentacles like squid, but don’t have a quill or cuttlebone for internal body support. They swim by using the fins on either side of their body or use jet propulsion by taking water into their body cavity and squirting it out a funnel.

Entry Filed under: Puget Sound

  • 1
    Eric Brodeur
    March 30th, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Nice! Getting the before and after transformation is amazing.

  • 2
    September 12th, 2007 at 11:25 am

    I like this one. Well done for before and after, should put his pic on TV. Wanna be beautiful? Become a squid.

  • 3
    Jane Hofweber
    October 5th, 2007 at 12:55 am

    I saw one of these guys on a night dive last week in Victoria, BC. He was about the size of my thumb. He was ruby colored and It looked like he was trying to make friends with my dive light. I wasn’t sure what his name was until I landed on your site. Thanks.

    Cephalopods rock…

  • 4
    Arne Kuilman
    October 25th, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Great photos! I just saw the same phenomenon last week, but didn’t get the photo’s as nice as this. Mine turned from white to red. It turned red when I had agitated it.

  • 5
    Pacific Northwest SCUBA D&hellip
    March 20th, 2011 at 12:44 am

    […] sunny, colorful tropical reefs to the South. Some photogenic examples of smaller creatures are the Stubby Squid, Hooded Nudibranch, Mosshead Warbonnet, Spiny Lumpsucker, Red-gilled Nudibranch and Grunt Sculpin. […]


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