3 years ago

Unique arm-flapping behavior of the pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis : putative mimicry of a hermit crab

Akira Mori, Haruhiko Yasumuro, Yuzuru Ikeda, Kohei Okamoto


Cephalopods are able to control their arms sophisticatedly and use them for various behaviors, such as camouflage, startling predators and hunting prey. Here, we report a previously undescribed arm-flapping behavior of the pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, observed in captivity. S. pharaonis raised the first pair of arms and wrinkled the parts near the distal end, where the skin color was darkened. Additionally, S. pharaonis spread the second and third pairs of arms and bent them as if they were jointed, and flapped the distal ends. S. pharaonis showed this behavior in two different situations: after being introduced into a large space, and during hunting. We discuss the putative functions of this behavior, including possible mimicry of a hermit crab, considering the situations in which the behavior was observed.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10164-017-0519-7

DOI: 10.1007/s10164-017-0519-7

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