Need some ID help!


Apr 9, 2003
Hi Everyone!

I have reading this board for a while now, enjoying everyones contributions. Its fantastic to have such a great resource.

While walking the low tide last night we came upon this little fellow. He is only about 5cm total length and has vertical stripes. He is nocturnal.

Can someone please identify what this little bloke is and if possible what are his chances in captivity?

My nine year old son has taken to this little guy, we even had to put him in a new tank to let him get some sleep! :roll:

Thanks for your help... :biggrin2:


Hi Michelle

That's a stunning wee thing that you have there, a squid in fact (it will have a couple of flap-like fins at the back). It is a rather unusual beast that goes by the name of Sepioloidea lineolata, first described in 1832. It is not only a rather primitive squid, but a rather unique one (it lacks an internal cuttlebone); it also has rather distinctive 'eye lashes' (fringes). There is, to my knowledge, a single-described species in Australian waters, although I do recollect a conversation with someone (honestly forgotten where and when) to the effect that there were several additional undescribed species. We have one species presently described in this genus in New Zealand waters (Sepioloidea pacifica) and two deeper-water undescribed species. I believe the genus Sepioloidea is known from New Zealand and Australia only.

Keeping it alive will require you to have LOTS of amphipods (I think that crabs and bits of fish/shrimp will be too large for it, even small ones; the tentacle clubs are covered in many rows of minute suckers; New Zealand species have survived well on amphipods to ~ 5mm total length); I would also put some sand in the bottom of the tank (it is likely to stay pretty close to the bottom, rather than swim around). A round/octagonal or hexagonal tank would be better than a rectangular one. I'll do a spot of research here and see if I can come up with further information on the diet of this particular species (I am obviously more familiar with my own species).

Because of its large size (it doesn't get that much larger) it might be mature, and may even have laid eggs (if female). This means that it might not live that long. Are the suckers all uniform in size and quite small (female), or does their size vary on different arms, with some 'not-so-small' (male)? One of the ventral (lower) arms will also have the tip modified (the hectocotylus) if a male (I have illustrations somewhere that I can post separately so that you can compare).

Looking forward to progress updates

All the best

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