Common Cuttlefish: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Common cuttlefish facts include that prefer to stay solitary and are found in groups during spring and summer seasons which are also the mating seasons.

The Common Cuttlefish (scientific name Sepia officinalis) is also known by the name European Common Cuttlefish. They are the largest Cuttlefish species that are known and identified. They are migratory mollusks and tend to live in specific temperate and tropical environments. They are mostly found in southern and eastern parts of Asia, coastal regions of Australia and Africa, and in Europe. They can survive on sandy and muddy lands and have a high tolerance for brackish water. They also inhabit the Mediterranean seas. They have a big size and are bigger as compared to Channel Catfish and Rainbow trout. Cuttlefish are large animals and contain a mantle that stores the internal shell named cuttlebone. The internal shell provides buoyancy to the animal. Cuttlebone has a high market value in the bird industry since it can be used to shape the beak of a bird and are a high source of calcium. These cephalopods can change the texture of their skin and can disguise themselves to camouflage. They can change color due to the presence of light scattering leucophores on their skin. They have highly developed eyes which help them to see light around their surroundings inside water. They are predators and capture animals with the aid of their eight arms and two tentacles. They then immobilize the animals completely with the help of the ink secreted by their body. They breed in the summer and spring seasons and use their camouflage abilities to search and attract partners. Read on to discover more about these exciting cephalopods!

Common Cuttlefish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Brine shrimp, crabs, and other small insects and fishes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6.6-23 lb (3-10.5 kg)

How long are they?

6-10 in (15-25 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Color changing species

Skin Type

Pigment cells

What are their main threats?

Exploitation by fishing

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Tropical and temperate marine oceanic environment


South and East Asia, Europe, coasts of Africa, and Australia





Scientific Name

Sepia officinalis





Common Cuttlefish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Common Cuttlefish?

The Common Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is the largest known species of cuttlefish. It belongs to the class of cephalopods so it is not a true fish species. It is closely related to squids.

What class of animal does a Common Cuttlefish belong to?

Cuttlefish species belong to the class of cephalopods and are mollusks.

How many Common Cuttlefishes are there in the world?

The cuttlefish species are present in a great number across the globe. There are more than 120 varieties of cuttlefish. The largest cuttlefish species is Sepia apama and the most common cuttlefish is Sepia officinalis.

Where does a Common Cuttlefish live?

Studies indicate that these color-changing cephalopods live in parts of Europe specifically the United Kingdom, coastal areas of Africa, and Australia.

What is a Common Cuttlefish's habitat?

The Common Cuttlefish habitat is in tropical and marine water such as the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea. The cephalopod is tolerant to brackish water conditions as well.

Who do Common Cuttlefishes live with?

The Common Cuttlefish prefers to live on its own. It is a solitary cephalopod that stays in groups to be able to mate.

How long does a Common Cuttlefish live?

The species show a quick growth rate and tend to have a smaller life span. They die within one to two years. The female cuttlefish dies during giving birth. The males tend to live longer.

How do these reproduce?

Cuttlefish reproduce with the help of a process called polygynous mating. The males display color-changing abilities and develop black and white patterns on their bodies that are used to attract females. The bodies of females display grey color patterns to indicate that they are ready to mate. Internal fertilization occurs in these cephalopods. The fertilized eggs remain inside the female bodies between 30-90 days before these eggs get laid. The eggs get attached to shells so that they don't move away. It also aids the deposition of ink on eggs that helps them to develop the ability to camouflage.

What is their conservation status?

The cuttlefish is not a threatened cephalopod. It is found in large numbers around the globe. Its conservation status is listed as Data Deficient by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

Common Cuttlefish Fun Facts

What do Common Cuttlefishes look like?

Cuttlefish have a similar body to an octopus and a squid. The Common Cuttlefish has a large head, big eyes, beak, and a long body. It has eight arms and two tentacles that help it in catching its prey. There is also the presence of a muscular fin that aids in movement. The body of a cuttlefish aids in the maintenance of buoyancy because of the presence of a large home called cuttlebone.  It also can change the colors of its body to attract members of another gender.

Common Cuttlefish have eight arms and two tentacles that help them to capture the prey.

How cute are they?

Cuttlefish have two tentacles which make them look scary. Therefore, the cephalopod is not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Cuttlefish communicate with their mates and prey with the help of their highly developed eyes that have the ability to change the colors of the body. They also use tentacles to communicate by putting them in specific positions or swimming in certain ways. They eject black-colored ink to depict that they are feeling threatened.

How big is a Common Cuttlefish?

The length of a cuttlefish lies between 6-10 in (15-25 cm). Their weight lies in the range of 6.6-23 lb (3-10.5 kg).

How fast can a Common Cuttlefish swim?

The Cuttlefish has a slow swimming rate. It uses its fins to move. It can swim in a backward direction as well.

How much does a Common Cuttlefish weigh?

The weight of a cuttlefish is around 6.6-23 lb (3-10.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to describe genders in species of Cuttlefish. The males are called male Cuttlefish and the females are called female Cuttlefish.

What would you call a baby Common Cuttlefish?

There is no specific name given to the offspring of Cuttlefish. They are named baby males and females.

What do they eat?

These cephalopods tend to eat smaller fishes and crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, and shrimps. They use their special tentacles to prey. They are called ambush predators because of their tendency to catch their prey in a unique style. They have well-developed eyes that enhance their vision and help them see their prey even when they're inside the eggshell.

Are they dangerous?

They are considered dangerous predators however, they are not a threat to humans. They have the ability to produce dangerous toxins which immobilize their prey.

Would they make a good pet?

They cannot be kept as pets because of their specific habitat requirements. They can only survive in a tropical and temperate range of seas. They are found around coastal areas of Africa and Australia and therefore do not make good pets.

Did you know...

Cuttlefish are the most intelligent organisms that live inside the sea. They have a high intelligence quotient as compared to other animals that reside in the sea.

They prefer to consume high-quality food like shrimp and don't tend to waste energy over low-quality food like crabs.

Cuttlefish secrete while trying to capture animals for food and therefore they can be considered venomous.

Cuttlefish have three hearts where two of them are responsible for pumping the blood to large gills and the other one is involved in the circulation of oxygenated blood to the rest parts of the body.

What is the Cuttlefish known for?

Cuttlefish are migratory cephalopods with good intelligence. They are hunted for their cuttlebones which have high calcium quantities. They are sold to the pet bird industry due to this reason. They can improve the jaw strength of a bird. Their body also produces ink which is sold due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. They taste similar to octopus and squid.

What adaptations do the Cuttlefish have?

The Common Cuttlefish camouflage is very effective. They can change their color and skin texture. It helps them to disguise and stay away from Common Cuttlefish predators such as sharks and seals. They have cuttlebones that help them in swimming and contain gas that helps them to maintain buoyancy. It also protects the internal organs of the cephalopod. They have highly developed eyes that help them see and enhance vision. They change their skin color to communicate and depict their sexual interests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our Pilchard fun facts and Rainbow Trout facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Cuttlefish coloring pages.



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