Dive Log inc Sportdiving

Adorable. Intelligent. Quirky. The Southern Dumpling Squid, Euprymna tasmanica Nocturnal Spotlight By Naomi Strong and Steven Walsh

Location : Endemic to Southern waters of Australia, from 0.5-80m depths. Lifespan : Approximately 7 months. Size : Maximum 7cm. Diet : Carnivores, feeding on small fish and crustaceans. Nocturnal : Emerge at night to hunt and mate.

Photos simply do not do Southern Dumpling Squid justice. Grab a torch, a buddy and dive in after the sun goes down to experience the dynamic colours and quirky behaviour of this adorable cephalopod. Although a common occurrence on night dives, it never grows old seeing a dumpling squid plonk itself on the sea floor and promptly bury into the sand right in front of your eyes. Hang back when it looks like the job is done, two of its “arms” will emerge to gently rake sand over its head for the final touches. This is one of many talents in their repertoire, and part of why we enjoy diving with them. A Plethora of Abilities Which way did it go?! Like nearly all cephalopods, they have the ability to ink. This disorientates predators and threats. It sounds ineffective, that is, until you see your dive buddy following a squid sized blob of ink instead of the squid they were originally trying to photograph! Sticky sand! Dumpling squid can also: a) produce mucous, causing sand to stick to and conceal themselves and,

Above: A pair of mating dumpling squid Below: Dumpling squid about to bury into the sand.

Dumpling squid mating in the water column

| DIVE LOG Australasia inc. Sportdiving Magazine | OCTOBER 2019 | ISSUE 375 | www.divelog.net.au 30

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