Pulsing Stripe Cuttlefish – Like CGI Gone Mad

I’ve seen a lot of cuttlefish, and they create incredible colours on their bodies, but I’ve never seen one do this – pulsing a broad stripe the full length of its body, completely changing the look of its body and looking like an expensive computer generated movie effect

I shot this video while diving in Sulawesi on the Ocean Rover liveaboard – follow the link for more pictures and a trip report. Can any marine biologists or other knowledgable people help out with an explanation? Do all cuttlefish do this and does it signify something in particular?

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  1. Bruce Williams says:

    Chris –

    Just watched your “Pulsing Stripe Cuttlefish” …

    I’m sure someone has beaten me in telling you that there was a documentary done on either Discovery or Nat Geo, I believe, about cuttlefish and largely about this phenomenon. It appears to be a hunting display, thought to perhaps “hypnotize” prey before a strike. Several such instances were filmed and shown in this program, along with in-lab experiments displaying the cognizant behavior of cuttlefish.

    More generally … great site. I’m a Scubaboard junkie (highdesert) often found lurking around the Indo forum. Been to Waktobi once, and RA once; Komodo next. Did RA from Misool to Triton Bay last November, and thought it to be overblown in terms of the PR about it. I understand this is the result of our specific trip, but it was one I would not repeat. No problem with the boat or crew, just thought many of the dives were nothing that special. Didn’t begin to compare to Wakatobi for macro, and few big critters. And NO cuttlefish … possibly my favorite sea critter.

    Keep up the good work!


  2. Thanks for the info Bruce! And thanks for the compliments too.