Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Facts
- You cannot take the beautiful Hawaiian Bobtail Squid for granted just because it isn’t large. This holds true due to the remarkable secret that their tiny bodies contain.
- The most noteworthy fact about this incredible ocean creature remains its symbiotic relationship with a species of bioluminescent bacteria, which actually lives within part of its body.
- Furthermore, this gorgeous little cephalopod actually holds a closer relationship to cuttlefish, than to other squids. Just like cuttlefish, it can swim either by using the fins on its mantle or via water-jet propulsion.
- Though this amazing creature has a rather restricted habitat range, it does not currently appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its numbers appear to be stable for the moment.
Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Physical Description
No observer would consider the most noteworthy aspect of the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid to be its size. A typical mantle length remains less than 1.2 in (3 cm), and total body length rarely exceeds 2.5 in (6.3 cm). In fact, adult individuals average weighing less than 0.1 oz (2.7 g).
They possess eight arms with suckers, and two tentacles, which they usually use to grasp their prey.
Yet the most amazing fact about this species remains their symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria. The octopus must selectively acquire the symbiotic bacteria after birth and typically do so within the first 24 hours. These inhabit a special organ in their bodies, and the squid then uses them (at will) to effect a light-based camouflage.
Species: E. scolopes
Hawaiian Bobtail Squid Habitat, and Ecology
The fascinating and beautiful Hawaiian Bobtail Squid has a restricted habitat range. They only inhabit a specific portion of the central Pacific Ocean. This species principally occurs in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, hence the common name. They appear in limited numbers around Midway Island, as well.
Further, this tiny cephalopod only inhabits shallow coastal waters.
The animal primarily preys upon small shrimp and similar crustaceans.
Individuals generally remain hidden by day, and move about at night, when their camouflage is most effective. They possess a short lifespan, usually of less than one year.