Original paper

First observations of a snail-like body pattern in juvenile Sepia bandensis (Cephalopoda: Sepiidae). A note

Warnke, Kerstin M.; Kaiser, Rainer; Hasselmann, Marco

Abstract

Eggs from the stumpy-spined cuttlefish Sepia bandensis Adam, 1939 were obtained from an aquarium dealer importing animals from the Philippines and reared in the Zoo-Aquarium Berlin to adulthood (about 180 days). Most juvenile animals with a total body length of 2-3 cm (about 28 days old) showed a previously undescribed behaviour in relation to disturbance or in context of feeding situations. They displayed a colour and body pattern while swimming, which appears to mimic a fast moving snail (e.g. Conus or more probably a Nassarius). This behaviour was only observed for a period of about four weeks during juvenile development. To know which gastropod species is the model(s) of impersonation, it is necessary to get more information about the natural environment of juvenile S. bandensis. The behaviour described seems to be inherited in S. bandensis, because it was observed in animals which had never seen snails.

Keywords

sepia bandensisreared in aquariumbody patternmimicry