- José H. Leal
The Flamboyant Cuttlefish
Here are a couple of images of one of our charming Flamboyant Cuttlefish. Unlike most other cephalopods, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Metasepia pfefferi, are active during the day, hunting small invertebrates. Native to the eastern Indian Ocean and Southwest Pacific, Flamboyant Cuttlefish are highly resilient, and their outgoing behavior and ability to incessantly change color patterns make them one of the favorites with visitors. Visit the Museum’s Living Gallery to learn more about the Flamboyant Cuttlefish and other fascinating mollusks!
Wikipedia tells us that the "cuttle" in cuttlefish comes from the Old English name for the species, cudele, which may be cognate with the Old Norse koddi (cushion) and the Middle Low German Kudel (rag). The Greco-Roman world valued the cuttlefish as a source of the unique brown pigment the creature releases from its siphon when it is alarmed. The word for it in both Greek and Latin, sepia, now refers to the reddish-brown color sepia in English.