strange looking cuttlefish hatchling

Jul 22, 2004
Hello :cyclops:

Today I transferred a couple of cuttlefish hatchlings (Sepia officinalis) from one tank to another. They hatched last night. I noticed that one of the little guys looked a bit different than the others. It looked as if the middle arms got two tips??? Or maybe the cuttle just crossed two arms making it look like one arm with 2 tips... I don't know. I had a very close look from different angles, but I am still confused. Have not seen this behaviour before.
As I brought my cam with me, I quickly took some pictures of the mysterious cuttle while transferring it.




All pictures show the same animal (total length was 9 mm).
Did you ever see something like this?

TK :cuttle:
The babies do sometimes cross arms and hold them out but i cant tell from the pics... time will tell :smile:
Thank you both for your reply :biggrin2:
The baby is still alive and I had a look at it again today. I am 99% sure now, his arms-tips are cleaved. I took more pictures (don't know if they are of better quality though) and will post them here later.

TK :cuttle:
...are they all feeding well?

I suppose so. These babies are reared at the A.W.Institute and people there are experienced in working with Sepia officinalis and keeping it.
The egg from which the hatchling hatched (excuse my poor english :oops:) was part of an CO2-experiment, but all other hatchlings are normal... So I was very surprised and excited when I saw it yesterday.

can the cuttle ever hold them down normally?

Yes, when it is swimming among the other hatchlings and holds down its arms, it's very difficult to find. Just sometimes it is spreading the arms infront of its head (not above the head as some other babies do). And then it looks soooo different.

Below are the pics I took today.



In the last pic you can kind of see the branching armtips.

Still excited about this little guy,
looking forward to further replies

TK :cuttle:
I've only seen weird things like this in octopus (and that's just branching arm tips, or 1 less or 1 more arm [7 or 9 respectively]). I'd be inclined to separate that little puppy out and ensure it is fed (to saturation). It is probably more important that this mutation survives than all of the 'normal' ones!!!

Mutations are extremely interesting; they'd fall into the lethal and non-lethal variety. Sometimes some absolutely bizarre things can survive, and this definitely falls into the bizarre bracket (along with that bicephalic squid we had earlier ... can't remember the details, but MOST bizarre!!).

How old is this little thing now? Have you seen it eat? I hope you have. If so, has the food been dead or live? Moreover, can you procure enough of it to keep it going? Imagine it fully grown!! It'd be so cool!

For interesting mutations in soft-bodied animals, obviously of the non-lethal variety (but fantastically bizarre all the same), you might like to check out Dr Bill Rudman's nudibranch site ('the seaslug forum', link below ... then click on the names of various species)

The Sea Slug Forum - Abnormalities in Body Shape

I liken to The two sites are great, informative and interactive. You'd be amazed at some of the 'mutants' or damage-induced morphologies of these seaslugs. In fact, soft-bodied molluscs rule big time!!! Be nice to have an equivalent mutation/abnormal section online here (for octopus and squid), and if you can keep this precious little thing going, and get video of it feeding, then there's grounds for doing so.

Unfortuntely the little guy passed away. I didn't see it since the day before yesterday, although I was searching for it for hours yesterday and prepared an individual residence for it after reading Steve's suggestion... but I was too late :frown:
I had a close look through our dead cuttlefish hatchlings today and I found it among them. This time I took a clearer picture than before using a binocular.
The mantle length was 6 mm. The baby hatched between monday evening and tuesday morning.


Best regards,
TK :cuttle:
That is unfortunate. Do make sure that the little guy is preserved.

How many generations have these cuttles been in captivity?

How many generations have these cuttles been in captivity?
This certain hatchling was from a clutch by a group of wildcaught Sepia officinalis...

Hehehe, today we found another cleaved-arm-hatchling (it hatched over weekend). This time only one arm is cleaved (I will post a pic/video later tonight). The guy is still carrying its outer yolk sac and is residing in a "single-accomodation" right now... I hope it will drop the outer yolk sac soon and start catching food...

Best regards,
TK :cuttle:
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