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Phylum Mollusca > Class Cephalopoda > squids and cuttlefishes
Pygmy squid
Idiosepius sp.
Family Idiosepiidae
updated May 2020
Where seen? Arguably the cutest little thing on the shore, this tiny squid is commonly seen on many of our shores, among seagrasses and near reefs and rubble. Often dismissed as bits of floating rubbish, this small, well camouflaged animal is usually seen hunting alone.

Features: About 1cm. Body long cylindrical, with tiny circular fins at the rear end. It is often seen floating about with its longer tentacles extended beyond the shorter arms, with a slight curl at the tips of the tentacles. It has been seen catching shrimps that are as big as the squid.

The Family Idiosepiidae comprises only one genus Idiosepius that have a special glue gland on the upper body. A pygmy squid may use this gland to glue itself to the underside of seagrasses and seaweeds where it lurks in wait for prey. Like other squids, it can change colours rapidly, check out the video clip below.

Sometimes mistaken for a juvenile squid. The Pgymy squid doesn't get much larger than about 1cm.

What does it eat?
Tiny shrimps and crabs are its main prey.
It is said that that to catch shrimps, it sneaks up on a shrimp and immobilises the prey by biting through the nerve cord.

Caught a shrimp.
Tanah Merah, Aug 11

Tiny circular fins at the end of the body.

Longer tentacles extended beyond the shorter arms.
Cyrene Reef, Jul 10

Pygmy squids on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Terumbu Raya, May 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr

Caught a shrimp.

Changi, Aug 11

With black spots, this squid quickly changed...

...to a pale yellow with small black spots.
Tuas, Aug 04


Changi, Oct 07
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her flickr.

Caught a shrimp.
Changi Carpark 1, May 21
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.


Pulau Sekudu, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Chek Jawa, Jul 03
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


Pulau Sekudu, Jun 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Beting Bronok, Jun 10
Photo shared by James Koh on flickr.

East Coast Park, Aug 18
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook


Sentosa Serapong, May 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Kusu Island, May 07
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.


Seringat-Kias, Aug 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

St. John's Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Hantu, Jul 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook..


Caught a shrimp.
Terumbu Bemban, Jun 15

Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

A pair quarrelling over a shrimp!
Terumbu Raya, May 10
Photo shared by Geraldine Lee on her blog.

Terumbu Raya, Jul 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.


Raffles Lighthouse, Nov 16
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

pygmy squid 22Jan2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.


Family Idiosepiidae recorded for Singapore
from Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore.

  Family Idiosepiidae
  Idiosepius sp.

Links

References

  • Tan Siong Kiat and Henrietta P. M. Woo, 2010 Preliminary Checklist of The Molluscs of Singapore (pdf), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore.
  • Norman, Mark and Helmut Debelius, 2000. Cephalopods: A World Guide. ConchBooks, Germany. 319 pp
  • Norman, Mark and Amanda Reid. 2000. A Guide to Squid, Cuttlefish and Octopuses of Australasia The Gould League of Australia. 96pp.
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