One of the smallest yet most colorful of its species, the flamboyant cuttlefish lives up to its name.

 One of the smallest yet most colorful of its species, the flamboyant cuttlefish lives up to its name. 

Getting to know flamboyant cuttlefish 

Native to the Indo-Pacific region, the flamboyant cuttlefish is quite small when we compare it to other cuttlefish, growing up to only 3 inches (8 cm). This is the only species of cuttlefish that’s known to crawl on the seafloor instead of swimming gracefully like others. It also has a very robust aspect, unlike some other species.

Flamboyant cuttlefish enjoy muddy and sandy sea floors and divers can see them both during the day and at night. They hunt for crabs, shrimp and small fish using tentacles with suckers to capture their prey.

Vibrant color patterns

As their name suggests, heir most distinctive feature is their color pattern. When attacked or disturbed or when they are stalking a prey the flamboyant cuttlefish changes from its normal dark brown color to show patterns of white, brown, red and yellow that can be truly mesmerizing. They can also change the shape of their body and texture of their skin as part of their camouflage skills. The animals begin using these techniques as soon as the eggs hatch, so even juveniles can use this ability. They also use the changes in color to mate or to threaten other cuttlefish if they feel intimidated.

They are also the only species of cuttlefish that is toxic to humans, as their meat contains toxin.

Once the male fertilizes the eggs, the female deposits them in crevasses, under rocks or in coral so they are protected from predators. Once the eggs develop, they become translucent, making it possible to see the tiny cuttlefish inside. When they hatch, the juveniles are independent immediately.

Seeing flamboyant cuttlefish

These cuttlefish are active both during the day and at night. Their small size can make them difficult to spot but they are quite slow-moving so once you have found one, there’s plenty of time to observe its behavior or snap a few pictures. Divers can spot flamboyant cuttlefish around the Indo-Pacific, particularly in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Have something to add to this post? Share it in the comments.
New stuff
Brothers Islands

Brothers Islands Reopens to Dive Boats

The Egyptian Red Sea’s Brothers Islands have reopened after four shark-bite incidents. A statement released by CDWS (Chamber of Diving and Watersports) has confirmed new rules for liveaboard operators to follow.
by LiveAboard.com
E. M. Clark

Preserving America’s Underwater Battlefield: E.M. Clark

This year, Scuba Diver Life and NOAA are partnering to profile 12 different ships in the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This month we’ll visit the E. M. Clark.
by Guest Author
ocean conservation

Easy Ways to Take Part in Ocean Conservation

Ocean conservation is more important now than ever. Read on to find out how you can help protect the waters you love.
by Guest Author
scuba diving in Aqaba

Scuba Diving in Aqaba

A visit to the Red Sea is at the top of many divers’ bucket lists, and rightfully so. Scuba diving in Aqaba, Jordan, fulfills all your fantasies of warm water and fascinating culture.
by Shelley Collett