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Phylum Mollusca > Class Cephalopoda > squids and cuttlefishes
Pygmy squid
Idiosepius sp.
Family Idiosepiidae
updated Oct 12
Where seen? 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 Andy's awesome video clip.

Sometimes mistaken for a juvenile squid, this squid doesn't get very large.

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.

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.

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

Longer tentacles extended beyond
the shorter arms.

Pulau Hantu, Aug 03

Pygmy squids on Singapore shores

Photos of Pygmy squids for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

pygmy squid 22Jan2011 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

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.

This one had caught a tiny shrimp!
Chek Jawa, Jul 03

St. John's Island, Oct 11
Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.

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

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

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

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.



  • 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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