One of my favorite animals is the little sepiolid squid found in the Pacific Northwest, Rossia pacifica. So…
I thought I would just post a few images of this wonderful small squid. The next two images were taken sequentially as rapidly as my strobes would recycle. The color change occurring in response to the strobe’s flash was impressive and “instantaneous.”
The animal below saw me coming and watched me. It moved a bit but not too much as I approached, presumably a predator, such as a dog fish (Squalus) would try to catch a swimming squid, and . When I got about a meter away, it turned “white;” at the ambient light at that depth it really just matched to bottom color.
Individuals of Rossia have a very stereotyped escape response. It appears to be a response to slow patrolling predators on the bottom fauna, particularly dogfish sharks. The sepiolid lauches from the bottom and swims about 30 to 40 cm above the bottom more-or-less in a straight line inking every few meters. When it should ink the last time, it doesn’t, but it turns dark, throws its arms up in a “scatter” posture and drifts like an ink blot until it hits the bottom, whereupon it bleaches (which makes it effectively disappear) and rapidly covers itself with sediments.
After the successful escapes, eventually eggs are laid and after several months they hatch. The first image is of an egg clutch. The next two are of a newly-hatched, itsy-bitsy, baby Rossia.
This last image is of a Rossia watching me as I took its picture. Who could resist those eyes?