The pharaoh cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis ) is a large cuttlefish species, growing to 42 cm in mantle length and 5 kg in weight. It is also known as seiche pharaon.
Sepia pharaonis is likely a complex of at least three species, Sepia pharaonis I, commonly located in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, S. pharaonis II, located from Japan to the Gulf of Thailand and northern Australia; and S. pharaonis III, located from the Indian Ocean to the Andaman Sea.Show More
The type specimen was collected in the Gulf of Suez and is deposited at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.Show Less
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
A molluscivore is a carnivorous animal that specializes in feeding on molluscs such as gastropods, bivalves, brachiopods, and cephalopods. Known mo...
A piscivore is a carnivorous animal that eats primarily fish. Piscivorous is equivalent to the Greek-derived word ichthyophagous. Fish were the die...
Natatorial animals are those adapted for swimming. Some fish use their pectoral fins as the primary means of locomotion, sometimes termed labriform...
Congregatory animals tend to gather in large numbers in specific areas as breeding colonies, for feeding, or for resting.
Ambush predators are carnivorous animals that capture or trap prey by stealth, luring, or by (typically instinctive) strategies utilizing an elemen...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
Polygamy is the practice of breeding with multiple partners. When a male breeds with more than one female at the same time – it is called polygyny....
Animal migration is the relatively long-distance movement of individual animals, usually on a seasonal basis. It is the most common form of migrati...
The pharaoh cuttlefish is native to at least the western Indian Ocean, including the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. Of all the cuttlefish species in the Persian Gulf, it is the most commonly caught. 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. It is thought to have reached the Mediterranean Sea as a Lessepsian migrant via the Suez Canal after many of its cuttlebones were washed up on beaches in Israel in the early 2000s.Show More
They have been observed to exhibit migratory behaviour off the south-west coast of India. They are more commonly found furthest north during August, and further south in May. They show an even distribution in October and February. Additionally, there are more juveniles present in May, and more adults present in August.
The Pharaoh cuttlefish prefer a medium to high amount of sunlight for den location during the day. Additionally, they prefer mud substrata during the day, and either sand or mud substrata during the night.Show Less
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 colour 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 fertilised 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.