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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)
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:

The brief squid grows to five inches in length. Its elongated body is covered in dark, pigment-filled spots that contract and expand to change the squid's color. It has large eyes and several arm-like tentacles that extend from its head.

Habitat:

The brief squid is found in warm, shallow waters. It moves through open waters by ejecting jets of water to propel itself forward or backward. It lives in schools.

Range:

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

Feeding:

The brief squid 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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