[Cuttlefish Eggs]: Officinalis Eggs Found in Garden


Blue Ring
Jun 30, 2016
Hampshire, UK
Thought I would introduce myself and why I joined today.
I live on South Coast of the UK and been a aquarium keeper for about 25 years, I currently have a 900l reef tank and I am completely obsessed with this hobby and particularly attracted to anything odd ball or unusual.

I live right on the coast, the sea wall is my garden wall. This afternoon I found something in my garden and could not believe my eyes! I am guessing a bird dropped them?
One of the eggs is clear and inside is a live baby cuttle, could see its fin whizzing about around its mantle, it did a little circle in the egg too. It appears to be holding the yoke in its tentacles. The rest of the eggs looked inky black but a little dried out but plumped up once I moved them into my quarantine tank, so fingers crossed the little guys will make it.

Been reading everything I can on rearing cuttlefish, which is how I found this site.

Can anyone tell how long it will be before they hatch and chances of surviving after such a adventure?


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That would be wonderful, Going to have so many questions. I have a mysis and brine shrimp breeding project underway...but admit most the brine shrimp feed the mysis.

I also have a 100l water butt which breeds tiny marine snails, hoping these will come in handy for feeding the babies too. I can also pop down onto the beach when the tide is out and collect tiny crabs, tiny sand hopper shrimp.

Should I keep their hatchin tank bare bottom and no rocks so it's easy to clean or would they prefer a substrate and decor?

I plan on rearing them in a 150l tank to start with, before transferring to a 400l, I thought if I put them straight in the 5ft 400l tank they might struggle to find food in the first few weeks?

Can't tell you how excited at the prospect of rearing these guys, must be fate I was able to rescue them.
What a cool find and by the right person! It is curious that only the one egg is clear and all the other still have the ink covering. Watch for the yolk sac to shrink away for hatching timing (the other eggs should also become almost transparent). In general, if they still have the yolk sack when they hatch, their chances of survival are slim. Keeping the water cooler will help keep them from hatching too soon but, how cool is guesswork (local ocean temps would be a good guess).

Based on the size of the viewable cuttle and the egg shape, these are most likely Sepia Officinalis (see this google search for images). They may be able to eat small shrimp even at hatching since they are larger than bandensis that are most commonly kept. Because of tank size requirements (as well as availability) we don't have many members with common cuttlefish experience but there is a bit of older information that might be helpful. You can use the search feature for Officinalis to find more discussion but here are a few threads I found.:

This is a journal of Officinalis hatchlings with a good bit of food discussion
This thread includes discussion and linked references to papers about feeding hatchlings.
A bit of temperature experience discussed here.
Here are some great images of young Officinalis (the first set only, the second set @Paradox posted were bandensis)

Please continue to journal your adventure!
Thank you I think it must have been fate they found me. I have always been fascinated with cuttle but never thought I ever be able to have one, they are rare as hens teeth in aquatic shops and way to pricey for my purse!

I thought it was odd one egg was missed out with the ink as well but also s miracle as I thought it was just bladder seaweed blown of the beach until I spotted movement and saw the baby. The ink casing on the others are not so smooth they look a little scruffy, perhaps its because they have had a rough time?

Getting very excited at the prospect of having cuttle babies, I will document everything I can.

They are in a unheated tank, but still warmer than the sea, I am thinking about making a DIY chiller out of a mini fridge, just coiling a long hose pipe inside and pumping the water through the hose pipe should reduce the tank temp.
One of my rescue cuttle eggs hatched just minutes ago, not sure if it's premature?

Egg sack is being held in its tentacles, what do you guys think?

These are photos seconds after it hatched, it's moved about a little.


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Sad news but I don't think the little guy going to make it, he is unable to keep balance in the water and keeps floating upside down. Feel gutted but had a feeling it was not right. He is able to change his colour light to dark but def has a buoyancy problem, perhaps his cuttlebone is not fully developed?

Fingers crossed for the others, got my heart set on raising them but worried the eggs were out the water and been through to much to survive, don't know how they ended up out the sea!

The transparent egg still shows a live baby moving about occasionally, it does a little reverse wiggly round the egg and I have seen it holding its yoke in its tentacles but a few times its beside it which is interesting, he looks bigger than this one too....going cross eyed looking at it.

wish the rest luck!

Oh and happy 4th July to my cephalopod friends across the pond.

Sorry it took me a bit to reply, I've been out of town. How lucky to have cuttlefish delivered to you. How does the baby look now? You can place a few mysids in the tank with the little guy, it helps for them to see prey before they hatch, but I would only put a couple of them in there. Don't know about the other eggs, especially if they were deflated. The eggs could be of different ages, so the blacker ones could be younger.

Don't think they will touch snails but mysids will work for a bit and then they'll be on to bigger shrimp. Mine ate crabs too but preferred shrimp.
Thanks for replying!

The one that hatched is not moving, still changing colour but not reacting even to a VERY gentle nudge. Only a couple of the eggs were deflated, about 15 out of 20 are very plump and look perfect if not a little raggedy.

I put a few mysids in, but he is not reacting at all. ☹️
Just wait a bit on the little guy, try not to disturb it too much - lot of stress plus temperature, pH change.

Hard to tell about the others but some look opaque instead of clear, which is not a good sign. But I wouldn't do anything for a week or two, you never know.
Two more hatched!

Look perfect miniature cuttles, can clearly see the first one was very premature or just deformed.

These two have camoflaged themselves and look all prickerly to blend in with the scattering of decapsulated brine shrimp eggs that are about to feed the mysid, they are also already trying to pounce on their prey!

Will take photos tomorrow as don't want to turn the lights on and startle them, it's like 1am in the UK so bed time.
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