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Sepia Linne, 1758

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003) and Richard E. Young
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This genus contains 109 nominal species.
Containing group: Sepiidae


This genus is probably the most speciose in the Cephalopoda. Because of the great variability among species, the genus is best defined by the other two genera; that is, Sepia is the sepiid that doesn't have the major characters that define Metasepia and Sepiella.

Brief diagnosis:


  1. Head
    1. Beaks: Representative descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.

  2. Funnel
    1. Funnel component of locking apparatus without pit-like depression at midpoint of groove.

  3. Mantle
    1. Mantle without posterior gland and pore (see Sepiella).

  4. Shell
    1. Cuttlebone length approximately equals mantle length.
    2. Cuttlebone usually with posterior spine between fins.


Adam, W. and W. J. Rees. 1966. A review of the cephalopod family Sepiidae. Sci. Rep. John Murray Exped. 11: 1-165.

Khromov, D. N., C. C. Lu, A. Guerra, Zh. Dong and S. v. Boletzky. 1998. A synopsis of Sepiidae outside Australian waters. Smithson. Contr. Zool., 586: 77-156.

Lu, C. C. A synopsis of Sepiidae in Australian waters. 1998. Smithson. Contr. Zool., 586:159-190.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Sepia latimanus, Sepia latimanus (2)
Location off Australia
Comments mate guarding, female on left
Sex f, m (2)
Copyright © 1996 Mark Norman
About This Page

Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003)
Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-Sur-Mer, France

University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA

Page: Tree of Life Sepia Linne, 1758. Authored by Katharina M. Mangold (1922-2003) and Richard E. Young. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Mangold (1922-2003), Katharina M. and Richard E. Young. 2012. Sepia Linne, 1758. Version 10 November 2012 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Sepia/20009/2012.11.10 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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