Bobtail squid hatchlings thriving at shell museum
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum reported that it received a healthy brood stock of hummingbird bobtail squid (Euprymna berryi), as well as a cluster of viable eggs, in June.
As the eggs developed, they became yellow and started to expand. Prior to hatching, the eggs became swollen, transparent, and the eyes of the hatchlings became visible. Recently, they began to hatch and healthy bobtail squid hatchlings emerged.
According to the museum, the species has a short paralarval stage, meaning that the hatchlings are planktonic and feed in the water column for a short amount of time before settling onto the substrate. Within 24 hours, they settled on the substrate, eating live mysids — small shrimp-like crustaceans.
“Having the hatchlings will give the museum staff (and repeat guests) opportunities to closely follow their growth and the changes that come with it,” curator and Science Director Dr. José H. Leal said.
For the time being, the hatchlings will be kept off display so that aquarists can monitor their behavior and feeding habits. In the meantime, an adult bobtail squid is on display in the “Living Gallery.”
For more information, visit www.shellmuseum.org or call 239-395-2233.
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel.