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.
Several arm-like tentacles extending from the head
Dark, pigment-filled spots on the body that contract and expand to change the squid’s color
Grows to 5 inches long
Moves through open waters by ejecting jets of water to propel itself forward or backward
Lives in schools
Found throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay, as far north as Tangier Sound
Eats bottom-dwelling crustaceans, small fish and fish larvae
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
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.
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