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Linnaeus, 1758

Adult. Body broadly oval, maximum mantle length 400 mm. Dorsal anterior edge of mantle developed as a blunt, rounded lobe. Fins are starting directly at the anterior edge of the mantle and they are extending beyond the edge noticeably, reaching anteriorly to level of posterior edge of eyes; fins widen at posterior part of the mantle. Arms are relatively short, comprising less than half of the combined length of head and arms; arms have four rows of suckers; central pair of arms is broadly flattened dorso-ventrally; all arms have acute outer edges. There are five longitudinal rows of conspicuously unequal club suckers, five to seven suckers of the median row being clearly larger than others. The internal shell has a spine, outline is elongate-oval, almost parallel- sided (may be slightly concave on sides) and smoothly rounded posteriorly. Posterior part of shell is widened, edges of outer cone are wide. Shell width in males is 30-40 % of shell length, in females 33-42 %.
Juvenile [hatchlings in dorsal view Sepia spp.-y ]. Description not available. Hatchlings come out as miniature adults (see Lu et al., in Sweeney et al., 1992, p. 21.). The identification characters for juveniles are hence similar to those that are used for the identification of adults.

Maximum mantle length 40 cm.

Depth range
Shallow sublittoral, and offshore to 250 m. Common inshore during summer months.

Distribution in the North Sea
Southern North Sea, occasionally northern North Sea and Skagerrak.

World distribution
Widely distributed in the E Atlantic. From Shetland Islands, S Norway and southern North Sea to the Cape of Good Hope (S Africa) and along SE coasts of Africa and Mozambique; including Mediterranean Sea.

Sepia officinalis