Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is distributed from Namibia to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and possibly along the east coast of Africa as far north as the Red Sea (Reid et al. 2005). Occurences in China are likely to be misidentifications (Reid et al. 2005).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This demersal species is found off the coast of South Africa and is abundant between 60 and 190 m in depth (Reid et al. 2005). It is able to tolerate low oxygen levels like those found in shallow waters to the west of southern Africa (Reid et al. 2005). It feeds primarily on stomatopod crustaceans and is a principle prey item for fur seals and groundfishes such as skates (Reid et al. 2005). Spawning appears to occur in the austral winter with mature animals moving to deep water west of the Agulhas Bank (Reid et al. 2005). Individuals appear to attain larger body sizes on the west coast compared to the south coast of Africa (Reid et al. 2005).

Systems
  • Marine
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shelf to upper slope
  • UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
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Depth range based on 2106 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1144 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 20 - 480
  Temperature range (°C): 7.480 - 19.831
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.823 - 22.818
  Salinity (PPS): 34.520 - 35.415
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.323 - 5.408
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 1.807
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.542 - 18.030

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 20 - 480

Temperature range (°C): 7.480 - 19.831

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.823 - 22.818

Salinity (PPS): 34.520 - 35.415

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.323 - 5.408

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.477 - 1.807

Silicate (umol/l): 4.542 - 18.030
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Barratt, I. & Allcock, L.

Reviewer/s
Reid, A., Rogers, Alex & Bohm, M.

Contributor/s
Herdson, R. & Duncan, C.

Justification
Sepia australis has been assessed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution and is not currently fished commercially.
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Population

Population
The population size of this species is unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Ocean acidification caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is potentially a threat to all cuttlefish. Studies have shown that under high pCO2 concentrations, cuttlefishes actually lay down a denser cuttlebone which is likely to negatively affect buoyancy regulation (Gutowska et al. 2010). This species is ecologically important as a prey species and its high abundance and tasty flesh mean that it may be exploited by fisheries in the future (Reid et al. 2005).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species and none are in place. Further research is recommended in order to determine the population trends, distribution and threats impacting this species.
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