Banded Piglet Squid Facts
- Firstly, the Banded Piglet Squid bears the rather imposing scientific name of Helicocranchia pfefferi. Additionally, the unique creature still remains something of a mystery to modern science.
- The humorous sounding common name understandably has an understandable origin. It derives from the comparatively rotund shape of the body, seeming reminiscent of a small pig.
- Yet another fascinating one of the scant facts known about the adorable creature sets it apart, however. That’s because this remarkable species appears to primarily swim upside down.
- One unique fact researchers have discovered is that this rather incredible small cephalopod, for reasons completely unknown, actually changes color to purple when giving birth.
- Finally, researchers currently know extremely little about this animal. This principally holds true due to the nature of its habitat. Therefore, the IUCN lists this fascinating animal as Data Deficient.
Banded Piglet Squid Physical Description
Regardless of its great visual appeal, the Banded Piglet Squid remains quite diminutive in terms of physical size. Further, in fact, the amazing animal represents one of the smallest of all known related species.
Perhaps most notably, the average adult only achieves a mantle length of roughly 3.9 in (9.9 cm). Within the rather limited knowledge of the species achieved by researchers, sexual dimorphism appears to be absent.
In addition, throughout the majority of its life, this animal displays an almost transparent appearance. Later in life, however, the great majority of adults often become reddish brown. The reasons for this remain undetermined.
Further, its body displays numerous paddle-like fins. The purpose for these also remains undetermined. In addition, several short tentacles grow from the area immediately above its jet-black eyes.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Cephalopoda
- Order: Oegopsida
- Family: Cranchiidae
- Genus: Helicocranchia
- Species: H. pfefferi
Banded Piglet Squid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Given the great lack of available data, the distribution of the Banded Piglet Squid remains in question. But, some evidence indicates that it may have a nearly global distribution, in tropical and subtropical waters.
Younger individuals also primarily inhabit shallow regions of the oceans, remaining at depths of no more than 656 ft (200 m). However, as individuals mature, they migrate to much greater depths, sometimes as deep as 6,560 ft (2,000 m).
The exact population of the species remains unclear, but its population also appears to be quite fragmented.
Researches currently have no data on the diet or feeding habits of this unique creature. However, it remains assumed that it feeds on small fish and invertebrates.