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Brief Squid

Lolliguncula brevis

The brief squid is a small, free-swimming mollusk with a soft body and arm-like tentacles. (NOAA Photo Library)
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The brief squid is a small, free-swimming mollusk with a soft body and arm-like tentacles. (NOAA Photo Library)

The brief squid is a small, free-swimming mollusk with a soft body and arm-like tentacles. It lives throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay.

Appearance:

  • Elongated body
  • Several arm-like tentacles extending from the head
  • Large eyes
  • Dark, pigment-filled spots on the body that contract and expand to change the squid’s color
  • Grows to 5 inches long

Habitat:

  • Moves through open waters by ejecting jets of water to propel itself forward or backward
  • Lives in schools

Range:

  • Found throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay, as far north as Tangier Sound

Feeding:

  • Eats bottom-dwelling crustaceans, small fish and fish larvae

Predators:

  • When threated, squid shoot themselves backward with lightning speed. They may also emit an ink cloud to distract predators.

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Females lay gelatinous, yolky egg masses
  • Eggs hatch into tiny, fully formed young squid

Other Facts:

  • The brief squid is the only cephalopod in the Chesapeake Bay. Cephalopods (a word that means “head-foot”) are a type of mollusk with an internal shell that helps support the animal’s soft body.

Sources and Additional Information:


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