Monday, December 6, 2010
December 6, 2010 : Firefly Squid
The Sparkling Enope Squid (Watasenia scintillans), also known as the Firefly Squid, is a species of squid in the family Enoploteuthidae. It is the sole species in the genus Watasenia.
The Sparkling Enope Squid is found in the Western Pacific ocean at depths of 183 to 366 metres (600 - 1200 feet) and exhibits bioluminescence. Each tentacle has an organ called a photophore, which produces light. By flashing these lights, the Sparkling Enope Squid can attract little fish to feed upon. The Sparkling Enope Squid is the only species of cephalopod in which evidence of color vision has been found. While most cephalopods have only one visual pigment, firefly squid have three, along with a double-layered retina. These adaptations for color vision may have evolved to enable firefly squid to distinguish between ambient light and bioluminescence. The Sparkling Enope Squid measures about 3 inches long at maturity and dies after one year of life.