What’s it Take to Raise a Rare Cuttlefish?
The Aquarium has successfully raised and displayed the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) and the pharaoh cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis). But now our aquarists are hoping to exhibit a rare and striking new species, the flamboyant cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi).
Only two other aquariums have displayed this colorful species before. Native to coastal mudflats in northern Australia, the flamboyant cuttle has been traditionally difficult to obtain and exhibit. “It’s not easy to find in the wild,” says Bret Grasse, the aquarist overseeing the project. “Cephalopods in general are hard to ship. They’re very sensitive. We’ve been trying to get the species for years.”
Help came from the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center (formerly Atlantis Marine World) in New York, which sent eight subadults. Of these, staff isolated what they thought were two females and one male. Sure enough, they observed mating, and soon after, eggs were laid. “We were able to raise subadults to an adult stage, and then they had babies of their own,” says Bret…