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Squid hatchlings soon ready for display at shell museum

By BMNSM - | Sep 4, 2021

BMNSM Bobtail squid hatchling

In early July, 10 hummingbird bobtail squid (Euprymna berryi) arrived at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel from Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, along with a clutch of viable eggs.

While the adult squid went directly on exhibit, the clutch of eggs stayed in quarantine and, 16 days after their arrival, they began to hatch. Now, two months later, the young squid are about the size of a pea. The tiny compact cephalopods have eight arms, two tentacles and large eyes. Their background color appears translucent, with several tiny chromatophores distributed over the entire body.

“The hummingbird bobtail squid are actively hunting on their own and displaying normal coloration and behaviors,” museum Senior Aquarist Carly Hulse said. “We are very pleased with their progress, but they will have to get a little bigger before we can display them on exhibit.”

In recent years, bobtail squid have become important subjects in biological research.

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.