Cephalopods, Crustaceans, & Other Shellfish
Hawaiian Bobtail Squid
Pacific Ocean around the Hawaiian Islands
Warm, shallow coastal waters
Order Sepiolida, Genus Euprymna (bobtail squids)
The squid is a “sit and wait” predator, burying itself in the sand with its eight suckered arms and two tentacles to wait for prey to pass by. They then strike with their tentacles to capture their prey. If they happen to miss their target, the animal will bury itself back in the sand to wait for the next opportunity.1 Their primary diet is typically smaller shrimp and crustaceans.
They hunt from dusk until dawn, when they are usually most active. When not hunting, the Hawaiian bobtail squid will bury itself in the sand to hide from predators. They also have a small squid sac through which they can release a small amount of ink to try and distract the predator. Some known predators of the Hawaiian bobtail squid are the Hawaiian monk seal and the lizardfish.2
The Hawaiian bobtail squid has a bioluminescent light organ inside their mantle cavity, which provides light enough for the squid to hunt at night.1 The organ functions with the help of a symbiotic bacteria known as Vibrio fischeri, and the light is a result of the interaction between the bacteria and the squid’s bioluminescent organ in the squid’s mantle cavity.2
Fun Facts About Hawaiian Bobtail Squids
1. They are nocturnal animals, spending most of the day buried in the sand.
2. Hawaiian bobtail squids have unique paddle shaped fins that help them swim.
3. The bioluminescent symbiotic relationship between the squids and bacteria is being studied by researchers, focusing on immune and developmental signals associated with beneficial animal-bacterial interactions.3
4. The Hawaiian bobtail squid only live about 2-3 months in the wild.1
5. The bacteria Vibrio fischeri can glow on its own, but not as brightly as when inside the Hawaiian bobtail squid.
Engage Youth with Sailors for the Sea
Oceana joined forces with Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization dedicated to educating and engaging the world’s boating community. Sailors for the Sea developed the KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) program to create the next generation of ocean stewards. Click here or below to download hands-on marine science activities for kids.
SUPPORT OUR WORK TO PROTECT THE OCEANS BY GIVING TODAY
With the support of more than 1 million activists like you, we have already protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Support policy change for the oceans
Decision-makers need to hear from ocean lovers like you. Make your voice heard!
VISIT OUR ADOPTION CENTER
SYMBOLICALLY ADOPT AN ANIMAL TODAY
Visit our online store to see all the ocean animals you can symbolically adopt, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
DOWNLOAD OCEAN ACTIVITIES
HELP KIDS DISCOVER OUR BLUE PLANET
Our free KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) empower children to learn about and protect our oceans!