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De Blainville, 1827

Description
Adult. Body elongate-oval, maximum mantle length 80 mm. Dorsal anterior mantle edge produced as an acute lobe extending between eyes. Fins are starting a small distance from the anterior edge of the mantle, they are not exceeding mantle’s front edge and not widening posteriorly. Arms are short, comprising less than half combined length of head and arms; with two rows of suckers. Club suckers are conspicuously unequal, in central part of club there are three enormously large suckers. Internal shell with lanceolate outline and very small spine, which is rather like a small calcareous ridge than a true spine. Shell width in males 23-33 %, in females 26-35 % of the shell length. Posterior part of the shell is greatly narrowed close to rounded posterior end.
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.

Size
Maximum mantle length 8 cm.

Depth range
Shallow sublittoral, and offshore to 250 m.

Distribution in the North Sea
A southern/lusitanian species, live specimens not known from the North Sea; drifting shells of S. elegans may reach the North Sea.

World distribution
From W Scotland and the English Channel (drifting shells may reach the North Sea) to northern Namibia and the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Sepia elegans