Mediterranean Bobtail squid
Sepiola atlantica has short fins which do not overlap the mantle margin either anteriorly or posteriorly. The four arms have two series of suckers close to the body and 4 to 8 rows of minute suckers toward their tips. The remaining arms have two rows of suckers. A hectocotylus is present, the left dorsal arm is modified, the near end has a fleshy pad which is formed from enlarged and fused sucker pedicels with the copulatory apparatus being a large swollen horn, which has secondary lobes at its base; the dorsal row of suckers which are placed tword the tip from the copulatory apparatus has 3 or 4 slightly enlarged suckers with swollen pedicels, 3 or 4 vestigial suckers, then 3 to 5 greatly enlarged suckers roughly halfway along arm. The hectocotylised arm is strongly bent towards its tip. The tentacular club has transverse rows of 8 suckers. There is a pair of kidney-shaped photophores within the mantle cavity, one on each side of the animal’s ink sac. Both sexes of S. atlantica grow to around 21 mm (0.83 in) in mantle length. You can find these bobtails squids here in Palau Sardegna, Italy. When I have time I normally go diving in very shallow water around 1/ to half a meter of water right upto the beach, Once at the beach I start to swim up and down the coast until one of the bobtails just comes out from under the sand. Normally you would see them during the night as they come out to feed and mate, but during the day they hide under the sand If you are lucky they move around during the day. These are a great photo for any avid underwater water photographer many people think you must go to the tropics to see them but no they are also in many other areas of the world. I used a nikon 105vr lens with a Nikon d850 camera in a Nauticam housing and 2 Inon z240 flahes for this photo. The photo was taken just before the bobtail started to bury itself under the sand again. If you would like to photograph these great subjects you can drop me an email or visit my dive center Nautilus Diving Center in Sardinia.
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