Male broadclub cuttlefish showing flamboyant colours during mating season

Sepia cuttlefish

There are more than 100 species of sepia cuttlefish, a greater number of species than in any other cephalopod genus. Like all cuttlefish they contain cuttlebones, which are not bones but lightweight structures that help regulate buoyancy. This internal shell is filled with tiny compartments into which the cuttlefish can pump air or fluid to make itself lighter or heavier. The name sepia comes from the brown pigment released when the cuttlefish is alarmed. Sepia cuttlefish are distinguised by the length of the cuttlebone, which is roughly equal to that of the mantle in which it is housed, not an easy feature to spot. This group contains the world's largest cuttlefish, Australia's giant cuttlefish.

Scientific name: Sepia

Rank: Genus

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The Sepia cuttlefish can be found in a number of locations including: Great Barrier Reef. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Sepia cuttlefish distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Molluscs
  4. Cephalopods
  5. Sepiida
  6. Sepiidae
  7. Sepia cuttlefish

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Seaside spectacular Seaside spectacular

    When it comes to summer holidays, there's no better place than the seaside and if you know where to look you'll be surprised at the wildlife you can find.