ID request, black cephalopod

aksusaf

Larval Mass
Registered
#1
I was trying to avoid posting a new thread..but after hours of searching google and this site (yea, its probably an easy one, maybe i'm ignorant to this search feature) i still haven't found anything resembling this guy. I was swimming at panama city beach florida and with me was a black creature. Im sure it was a cuttle or squid, but i still have not been able to identify it completely. No tentacles, pure black, swimming with fins only, on top of the water near the shore. The eyes weren't apparent and i didnt see any tentacles. I followed it for a good minute and as soon as the camera came to me it submerged. Approximately six inches long. I know this isn't a lot of info..but maybe someone will know what it is right off hand. Thank you, and sorry for the long boring thread!
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#2

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Neal and I saw a school of these one year while either snokeling or diving in the Keys (I don't remember which but we typically did not do dives more that about 40' anyway). At that time there was no internet and a few books. We thought they looked different from squid we had seen in the fish market so considered for years that they were likely cuttlefish until the topic and answer surfaced on TONMO :grin:
 

OB

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#4
It could also have been Aplysia sp., perhaps?

 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#5
Do we have sea hares that large in the Gulf? I know we have smaller ones but the only large ones I have seen have come from the West Coast. If that substrate is not an aquarium, it would be more typical of the North West (sister-in-law brought back samples from her Washington trip that I saw earlier today :grin:) than of the South East. Very intresting looking critter.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#8
I have no idea. I am only familiar with the much smaller ones in the Gulf so was surprised a 6" guy but my knowledge of what is where is very limited. I do know the Pacific has some that can reach 35 pounds :bugout:. Robyn has been studying them this year and might know how common they are but sea hares are found in lots of places in in lots of colors. They are cool little critters (hard to keep fed in anaquarium though).
 

ceph

Wonderpus
Staff member
Moderator
#11
I've only seen them 3 or so times but they sure make an impression. They were a foot long and jet black - and hard to photograph as they really don't reflect much light. Cephalopods are amazing - but so are other mollusks that have lost or greatly reduced shells.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#12
We have a bunch of those down here! We call them Bat Snails. When we shrimp at night we see them a lot, I think they are attracted to our bright lights; but, I have seen them during the day a few times as well.
 

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