Zoological Studies

Vol. 55, 2016

(update: 2016.9.7)

Reproductive Behavior and Embryonic Development of the Pharaoh Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis (Cephalopoda: Sepiidae)


Mong-Fong Lee1,*, Chun-Yen Lin2, Chuan-Chin Chiao2,3, and Chung-Cheng Lu4

1Department of Aquaculture, National Penghu University of Science and Technology, No. 300, Liu-Ho Rd., Makung City, Penghu 88046, Taiwan
2Institute of Molecular Medicine, National Tsing Hua University,No. 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan. E-mail: cephalopodnick@gmail.com
3Department of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, No. 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan. E-mail: ccchiao@life.nthu.edu.tw
4Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, No. 250 Kuo Kuang Rd., Taichung 402,Taiwan. E-mail: aussieteuthis@gmail.com

(Received 28 September 2015; Accepted 30 June 2016)

Mong-Fong Lee, Chun-Yen Lin, Chuan-Chin Chiao, and Chung-Cheng Lu (2016) The pharaoh cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis, is one of the most important cephalopod fishery species in southeastern Asia. In the present study, we described their reproductive behavior and characterized their embryonic development. Sperm competition during mating was high in S. pharaonis; therefore, consort males always escorted their mates after pairing, although sneaker males were frequently observed. Their egg-laying behavior can be divided into three phases. Females first retracted and bent their arms into a fist-like posture to spawn eggs. They then extended their arms forward and used funnels to blow the spawning ground. Finally, they extended their arms again to deposit eggs onto appropriate substrata. Based on the characteristics of the embryos, a set of easily distinguished criteria was developed to define 30 stages of embryonic development. This classification scheme was consistent with that of S. officinalis. The present study provided an important basis for future investigations of the reproductive biology and aquaculture in the pharaoh cuttlefish, S. pharaonis.

Key words: Spawning behavior, Sperm competition, Embryonic development, Cuttlefish, Sepia pharaonis.

*Correspondence: Tel: +886-6-9264115 ext 3018. Fax: +886-6-9277382. E-mail: mongfong@gms.npu.edu.tw