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Notes on the behavior of idiosepius pygmaeus cephalopoda idiosepiidae

Moynihan, M.

Behaviour 85(1-2): 42-57

1983


ISSN/ISBN: 0005-7959
DOI: 10.2307/4534254
Accession: 006000163

Several individuals of I. pygmaeus were seen in the harbor of Koror, Belau, in southwestern Micronesia. Two adult females were captured and studied in the laboratory. They were diurnal and non-gregarious. They attached to walls and other vertical or oblique surfaces; but they avoided bottoms. They feed on small invertebrates by 2 different methods; occasionally, they struck at prey with their tentacles; more often, they nibbled along walls. This combination of characters is distinctive among cephalopods. I. pygmaeus showed a variety of ritualized behavior patterns, special postures and color changes concerned with communication. These were conventional rather than distinctive. Perhaps, like the homolougous performances of other cephalopods, they are designed to be seen (or overlooked) more often in interspecific than intraspecific contexts. Idiosepius has been grouped with the true cuttlefish, Sepia spp., sepiolids such as Euprymna, and a variety of other forms, in a possibly heterogeneous order Sepiida. This classification may be dubious. The ritualized behavior patterns of I. pygmaeus are not more similar to those of cuttlefishes than to those of squids, or even octopuses.

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