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The long, oval body is flattened dorsoventrally and bordered all along by narrow fins that do not connect at the posterior end. The internal shell (i.e. sepion or cuttlebone) lies dorsally in the body beneath the skin. The shell is a thick, oval, lanceolate or rhomboidal calcareous structure containing numerous gas and/or water filled chambers. The shell enables buoyancy control (Denton and Gilpin-Brown, 1973; Denton, 1974; see Mangold and Bidder, 1989). The eye lenses are covered by a protective cornea. The ventral arms are generally the longest and broadest; the left ventral is hectocotylized in males. The arms bear suckers in 2 to 4 series. The tentacles are completely retractile into pockets.

Figure. Side view of Sepia apama. Photograph by Mark Norman.

Brief diagnosis:

A sepioid ...
  • with a cuttlebone.
  • with body somewhat flattened dorsoventrally.


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