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Cuttlefish (Sepia) Photographs and Information

Cuttlefish have eight arms and two suckered tentacles with which to capture food. The tentacles are usually retracted when not being used. The body of the common cuttlefish is about 36 centimetres long. It can quickly change colour to camouflage into its surroundings, but usually has a zebra-like pattern. The giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) can reach 80 centimetres long.

Cuttlefish live in temperate and tropical seas around the world, especially in shallow water areas and around reefs.

Cuttlefish are taken as a bycatch by Australian commercial fishermen, mainly in prawn fisheries.

Larger cuttlefish are kept for sale, while smaller ones are only marketed if sufficient quantities are caught.  They are sold in Australia for human consumption and bait.

Cuttlefish primarily feed on demersal fish and crustaceans.

cuttlefish - prepared and cleaned

cuttlefish, cleaned cuttlefish

Map of Australian waters showing where cuttlefish are found

Did you Know? The original India Ink used in fountain pens before the ballpoint pen was invented was ink from cuttlefish collected in the Indian Ocean

cuttle fish whole

Scientific Name Sepia Species
Location Australia Wide
Season All year round
Size Over 40cm and 5 kg
Australian Species Code 00 610008
Taste, Texture Delicate sweet taste.  Medium to firm texture.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Cuttlefish fillet.

Kilojoules 328 (78 calories)
Cholesterol 104 mg
Sodium 285 mg
Total fat (oil) 1.0 g
Saturated fat 42% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 7% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 51% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 71 mg
Omega-3, DHA 289 mg
Omega-6, AA 16 mg

Other Cuttlefish Links:

Squid Recipes

Recipes for Squid from How To Cook Fish

Cuttlefish Facts
The cuttlefish is not a fish, it is a mollusk of the order Cephalopodan. Cuttlefish have a specialised shell, not on the outside, but on the inside, which is used for buoyancy and is called the cuttle bone, you often find these washed up on the beach, and are popular to give budgerigars to eat for calcium.

To move through the ocean, the cuttlefish has a wavy fin that surrounds its mantle, it also has a siphon, a muscular tube that it can squirt water out of for fast propulsion.

The cuttlefish has a very large brain. It has a very advanced eye. The cuttlefish is colour blind. It can change colour and texture almost instantly. How the cuttlefish blends into backgrounds and colours is a mystery because it can do it in complete darkness.

When a cuttlefish is threatened, it released an ink from it's ink sac. It releases the ink in one of two ways, the first is a little puff of ink. The second is a release of both ink and mucus. These are called pseudo-morphs and are designed to be decoys for the cuttlefish as it escapes.

The cuttlefish feeds by extending 2 hidden feeding tentacles, which it uses to snag prey and pull it back to its poisoned beak.

Cuttlefish mating begins when the male grabs the female by the face and inserts another specialised tentacle into an opening near her mouth and inserts sperm sacs. Males have 4 pairs of arms and females have 3. Weaker males sometimes disguise themselves by hiding 2 of their arms. These disguised males swim right past the competition to get the female. After the female's eggs are fertilized, she deposits her eggs in a hole on the bottom of the ocean. The eggs are called "sea grapes" and they are guarded by both the male and female until they hatch.

Cooking Cuttlefish or Squid:

cuttlefish, cuttle fish photo, commercial fishing for cuttlefishEdible Parts
Flesh of the mantle, fins, arms and tentacles, Ink, used in soups and great for colouring and flavouring Spanish-style risotto and pasta . Heads of small squid, which can be used for dishes such as seafood marinara and in salads

Squids have a light, subtle taste and a high recovery rate, and are firm yet tender. Cuttlefish flavour is mild.

To produce tender cephalopods, cook them quickly (for less than 2 minutes) over a high heat, or slowly simmer or braise. Their ink can darken sauce or colour pasta, and they can be used on skewers and in tempura and pasta sauces.

Squid is popularly served as deep fried rings (often called calamari). The squid is sliced into rings, or kept flat and scored diagonally, crumbed, deep fried and served with tartare sauce but try chilli jam instead.

Squid can be coated in sea salt and cracked black pepper, seared very quickly on the barbecue over a high heat, and served with a mixture of lime juice, palm sugar and tamarind.

Stuffing squid is a versatile method of preparation. Olives, onion, parsley and breadcrumbs make a good base then the options are endless. Poach in a court bouillon for added flavour and serve with capsicums, capers, fennel, tapenade and a reduction sauce of the squid ink, if desired. Due to its texture, squid is also suitable for casseroling.

Cuttlefish requires quick cooking if the flesh is not to become tough. It can be stuffed and grilled whole or shaved and served as a garnish or in a warm salad.

Tenderise squid and cuttlefish with raw papaya or kiwifruit in milk 2-4 hours before cooking.

recipe for italian stuffed calamari braised stuffed calamari squid recipe recipe for fried shrimp and fried calamari squid recipe for calamari squid with Moroccan tomato sauce
Italian Stuffed Calamari Stuffed Braised Calamari Fried Shrimp & Calamari Calamari with Tomato Sauce
Moroccan Style


How to Clean and Prepare Cuttlefish
Sydney Fish Market takes you through how to clean and prepare Cuttlefish for cooking.

Commercial Fishing for Cuttlefish:

squid live, aquatic products

Cuttlefish Processors  |  Cuttlefish Exporters  |  Cuttlefish Importers  |  Cuttlefish Wholesalers  |  Cuttlefish Agents

More links about Cuttlefish:



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