Metasepia pfefferi is a small cephalopod with a dark brown base color. This cuttlefish has overlaying patterns of white and yellow and its arms are purple-pink. The skin contains many chromatophores, which are pigment cells that can be manipulated to change colors. Females and males have similar colors except when spawning.
Metasepia pfefferi has a very broad, oval mantle that is flattened dorsoventrally. The dorsal mantle has three pairs of large, flat, flap-like papillae, which cover its eyes. The dorsal anterior edge of the mantle lacks the tongue-like projection that is common among all other species of cuttlefish. The head is slightly narrower than the mantle. The mouth is surrounded by ten appendages. Two of the appendages are tentacles and eight of them are arms. The arms are broad and blade-like. On males, one of the arms is modified into a hectocotylus for holding and transferring spermatophores. The cuttlebone, the defining feature of a cuttlefish, is approximately two thirds to three quarters the length of the mantle. Metasepia pfefferi is also venomous.
Range length: 60 (high) mm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; venomous
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
- Mangold, K., M. Vecchione, R. Young. 1999. "Cephalopoda Glossary" (On-line). The Tree of Life Web Project. Accessed December 20, 2010 at http://www.tol.tolweb.org/notes/?note_id=587#hanchor.
- Mangold, K., R. Young. 2008. "Metasepia" (On-line). The Tree of Life Web Project. Accessed December 20, 2010 at http://tolweb.org/Metasepia/20008/2008.04.21.