Introduction to the New Edition

Recently, aggressive fishing activity for exploring new cephalopod resources seems to be partially curtailed, but cuttlefish and squid resources still attract the interest of fisheries communities. Even countries that have not used cephalopods for food are now interested in exploring resources around their own countries, as one good export item, and also due to changes in life-style with respect to the kind of seafood being eaten.

The National Cooperative Association of Squid Processors has been publishing a series of illustrated guide books of cuttlefishes and squids of the world since 1975. Similar books appeared thereafter — for example the FAO Species Catalogue (1984), Tung (2000), Norman (2000) and Chen et al. (2009). Recently, the FAO Species Catalogue was revised and renewed, being entitled “Cephalopods of the World: An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date” by Jareb and Roper. Vol. 1 (2005) and Vol. 2 (2010) include 492 cuttlefishes and squids. Since the FAO Species Catalogues are “for fishery purposes”, fisheries resources and biological information for commercial and potential species are well documented, but non-commercial and minor species are accompanied by neither illustrations nor biological information — only name and distribution data. The numbers of species treated in the FAO Species Catalogue and this volume are compared below.

FAO Species CatalogueThis volume
OrderDetailed descriptionName & simple dataTotalTotal
Sepiiida5863121105
Sepiollida30417156
Myopsida5105152
Oegopsida98146244219
Others18912
Total238258496444


For the users of this volume, five important remarks are given here.


I am much obliged to my colleagues for a long time for generous offer of the new photographic images used in this new edition, particularly, Drs. C. C. Lu, Tsunemi Kubodera, Amanda Reid among others. I thank Drs. K. Bolstad and R. E. Young and copyright holders (i.e. Bulletin of Marine Science, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, Journal of Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, and Zootaxa) for their generous permission for reproductions of some illustrations in these journals.

The production of this volume is financially supported by the National Cooperative Association of Squid Processors, Tokyo.

January, 2015
Takashi Okutani

Author’s Preface to the 2005 Edition

Since prehistoric ages, cuttlefish and squids (“ika”) have been utilized by the Japanese who sought protein sources from the sea. According to a book, the word “ika” refers to food itself. The Japanese common squid (Todarodes pacificus) has been the dominant species angled by hand jigs and torch lights in olden times, but now fishing techniques have evolved to use fishing robots and electric lights. This species was once landed in masses as much as 700,000 tons, but it is now subjected to TAC in Japan (e.g. 350,000 tons for 2001).

Large cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis + vermiculata) resources in the East Atlantic were first explored by Japanese offshore trawlers, and flying squids have been intensively fished by Japanese offshore jigging boats in both New Zealand waters (Nototodarus sloani + gouldi) and Patagoanian waters (Illex argentinus). The drift gill-net was used for the catching of neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii). However, this method was banned by a moratoriam resolved by the UN from the viewpoint of protecting incidentally caught salmon, fur seals and other marine mammals and birds.

The National Cooperative Association of Squid Processors (NCASP) published a guide book “Useful cuttlefishes and squids of the world (no English title)”(1975) containing 60 species for the 10th anniversary of its foundation. In 1980 for the 15th anniversary “Useful and latent cuttlefish and squids of the world” of A4 size containing 86 species was published. This publication has been frequently cited in many subsequent references, including the “FAO Species Catalogue Vol. 3 Cephalopods of the World”(Roper et al., 1984), among others.

In celebrating the 30th anniversary of NCASP’s foundation in 1995, a revised version of the volume “Cuttlefish and squids of the world in color” containing 220 species (including those mentioned in the text) was published. This volume carried a number of misprints because of the inconvenient timing of my retirement from the Tokyo University of Fisheries, and the low abilities of the typesetter. It is my regret and I apologise the users of this book as well as the late Mr. Koichi Natori, ex-Director of NCASP, who supported the publication of this series of books.

It is my honor that NCASP has again given me the chance to produce another volume. This final version of the series of the illustrated book contains 408 species of cuttlefishes and squids from the world’s oceans, which may yield a total of about 450 species.

In recent years, the exploitation of new resources may not have increased dramatically, but conservation, management, effective utilization of resources and exploration of the potential usefulness of animals for human welfare, have been emphasized. Furthermore, investigations on the diversity of animals and plants in every country or in their territorial waters have accelerated in these past years. Studies on the systematics of cephalopods using molecular analyses have become popular. In considering resources, processing, ecology, diversity studies and morecular research, one must recognize what species is the current object. The first step to understanding of the species relies on their recognition by morphology. For the purpose of visual cognizance of the objective animals, the publication of this kind of book is highly valued.

I would like dedicate this book to the late Mr. Koichi Natori for appreciation of his promotion of this publication even under the recent stagnant economic climate and for giving me the authorship four times (1975, 1980, 1995 and 2005) for such a monumental series of “squid books”.

I reused many photographs taken by the Far Seas Fisheries Research Institute (Shizuoka) and colleagues for the previous book, and those by Dr. Hiroshi Horikawa and Mr. Masaru Tagawa for “Cephalopods of continental shelf and slope around Japan”(1987). Dr. Tsunemi Kubodera, Mr. Kazuhiko Yamada, and many other colleagues provided me with some new photographs. They are all acknowledged by placing a credit on every illustration. It was impossible to assemble original color photographs of all 408 species, but many were cited and reproduced from various scientific papers and monographs. All of my friends kindly permitted me to reproduce the illustrations of their works: Dr. C.C. Lu, Dr. Martina C. Roeleveld, Dr. Angel Guerra, Dr. Richard E. Young, Dr. Clyde F.E. Roper, Dr. Malcolm R. Clarke, Dr. Kotaro Tsuchiya, and many others.

The copyright holders, such as the National History Museum London, Australian Biological Resources Study, Bulletin of Marine Science, South African Museum, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales among others, kindly granted me permission to reproduce parts of their publications.

September, 2005
Takashi Okutani

Cuttlefishes and Squids of the World [New Edition]

National Cooperative Association of Squid Processors
3-14-8, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku. Tokyo 113-0034.
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