reef squid at St. John


Jan 13, 2008
Hello. This is my first post. This site is amazing.

I went to Saint John (U.S. Virgin Islands) with my family last summer where we spent a large portion of our time snorkeling in the bays. As a cephalopod enthusiast, my most cherished memories of the trip were of interacting with the squid and octopi.

My first experience with the reef squid took me completely by surprise, as I had just gotten into the water for my first time snorkeling in the ocean and I'm quite sure that I made a fool of myself in my excitement. I approached too quickly and it darted off leaving a jet of ink. Fortunately I encountered at least one group of three or four in each of the bays I visited, one of which I took the time to study and interact with for an extended period of time. At first they assumed a linear formation, strafing slowly to one side. As I crept near, they quickly flashed red and extended their tentacles menacingly. After some time I seemed to gain a slight degree of trust, best evidenced by the way they
followed me for a short distance when I finally decided to retreat.
My encounter with an octopus, the species of which I could not tell, was fairly brief, but incredibly rewarding, and consisted roughly of a "game" of hide and seek in which I watched from behind some coral for it to hide and then come out to put its camouflage to the test.

I'm hoping to return to St. John this summer, and I wish to further pursue these sorts of interactions with cephalopods. Does anyone have experience with or recommend feeding reef squids? I'd love to hear any of your experiences with these amazing creatures
:welcome:, and im not sure if you would be able to feed a wild squid, as they are used to live food, and in captivity, it can take weeks to train a cephalopod onto live food, however, if you were to bring some fish or something with you, you might be able to catch their interest.
:welcome: Sean2!

My first in situ encounter with cephs was also while I was snorkeling in the USVI, probably St. Johns (don't remember exactly... I was in high school and someone else organized the trip :roll:). I didn't see any octopus but I was totally stoked to see three reef squid, hovering in about 1m deep water, just watching me. They didn't stick around long enough for me to get any closer or interact with them, but I was completely transfixed for the few moments while they were there.

Since then I've never seen any squid in the ocean while diving or snorkeling, only the tiny clouds of ink that let me know little ones were there moments before I blundered noisily around the corner. But octopuses are a good replacement. :smile:
:welcome: and thanks for the story... I hope to dive with Sepioteuthis (and Dosidicus ) someday myself, but for now I'm pleased I've seen a few octopus friends in the wild...

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