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d'Orbigny, 1839

Description
Adult very similar to Sepiola aurantiaca. Body smooth, translucent, with variably sized, blotchy patches of pigment, which are particularly dense on dorsal surface. Fat and saccular, with rounded posterior end. Maximum mantle length about 20 mm, comprising about half of the total body-length. Dorsal anterior mantle edge is fused to dorsal surface of head, between eyes; ventral edge of mantle with straight, thickened edge. Fins are thin and delicate, each as broad as body at point of attachment, irregularly rounded. Arms are more or less rounded in section; with two longitudinal rows of suckers, increasing to four to eight rows distally on dorsal arms. Left dorsal arm of male is strongly bent starting at the middle; in the middle of its distal area, 3-4 suckers of dorsal row are greatly enlarged. Tentacle club with eight longitudinal rows of suckers. Suckers on the dorsal side of the club are larger than those on the ventral side.
Juvenile [Sepiola-hatch]. 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.

Size
Maximum mantle length about 2 cm.

Depth range
Shallow subtidal and offshore [S.atlantica-swim]; frequently in intertidal rock pools, burrowed, often taken on sandy shores in shrimp nets [S.atlantica-burr].

Distribution in the North Sea
All North Sea

World distribution
From Iceland, Faeroe Islands and W Norway to Morocco. Absent from the Mediterranean Sea. Widespread and common.

Sepiola atlantica