Pharaoh Cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis)
Pharaoh cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) is a large cuttlefish species, growing to 42 cm in mantle length and 5 kg in weight.
When hunting at night, it swims up to shallower parts of the sea to feast on a variety of smaller fish, crabs, and occasionally other cuttlefish.
Pharaoh cuttlefish reproduce similarly to most other cuttlefish. Large males compete in combat until a victor is decided, although it is often decided without any initiation of physical combat. The males circle each other performing threatening displays of color and tentacles until one male swims off in defeat. The victorious male then mates with females by grabbing them with their tentacles, turning the female so that the two animals are face-to-face, then using a specialized tentacle to insert sperm sacs into an opening near the female’s mouth. The male then guards the female until she lays the fertilized eggs a few hours later. Females undergo a series of phases when laying their eggs, beginning with a temporary posture where their arms are held in a fist-like position. They follow this with extending their arms forward and venting onto the spawning ground and eggs via their funnels, before extending their arms to deposit the laid eggs onto the proper substrata.
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