Any idea what species (Caribbean encounter Feb 2003)?


Staff member
Dec 20, 2002
I think you wrote me as well, either that or John shared your email with me while I was working at the NRCC. I believe that I also suggested that you likely observed Caribbean Reef Squid. For the record, John has likely logged more time obsering Caribbean Cephalopods than any other scientist I can think of; he is one of the best (but that doesn't mean he doesn't get stumped too!).

These guys are common but are capable of a lot of very interesting behaviors and displays.

They often have white dots and if they expressed thier blue irrodophores over the white dots it could look like they were covered with a lot of tiny light blue gemstones.

Dr. Byrne has created a graphical photoshop model of many of the more common patterns these squid produce.




Apr 14, 2005
Dr. Wood:
Thanks for your post. I believe Dr. Forsythe either showed you or forwarded to you the stuff I sent him at the time - your name rings a vague bell, and I recall him saying that he was going to show someone or send someone the drawing and notes I'd sent him.
The link in Jared's post to photos of the Caribbean reef squid didn't work just now, so I did several similar Google searches for photos of individuals of the species and came up with some of your own photos among others - I wanted to refresh my memory about what they look like.
The two animals I encountered were very different in a number of specific regards. They were considerably more slim and elongated overall, their bulk fore-and-aft (mantle vis-a-vis the rest of the animal rearward) was almost equivalent, their eyes were not as large, not anywhere near as protruberant, were a different shape (more vertically ovoid), and had much less wide/prominent black surrounds. The tentacles were much longer proportionally.
Aside from the above, in none of the reef-squid photos I found did I see anything like the mustard-colored band I described in a previous post, or fins that were more-or-less of equal width front-to-back (every reef-squid photo I came across that showed the fins clearly showed them as coming to something like a point in the middle), or really tiny and irregularly distributed vivid blue spots on the mantle (in the photos the vivid spots were larger, evenly spaced, and usually whitish).
There may be other differences I can't recall right now, but the specifics I've noted - specifics I noted at the time in the water - lead me to believe that the animals I encountered were not Caribbean reef squid.
Bill Finnegan

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