Bobtail Squid Hatchlings Thrive at National Shell Museum

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Earlier this month, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum received a healthy brood stock of Hummingbird Bobtail Squid, Euprymna berryi, as well as a cluster of viable eggs. As the eggs developed, they became yellow and started to expand. Prior to hatching, the eggs became swollen, transparent, and the eyes of the hatchlings became visible. This past week, the eggs began to hatch, and healthy Bobtail Squid hatchlings emerged.

This species has a short paralarval stage, meaning that the hatchlings are planktonic and feed in the water column for a short amount of time before settling onto the substrate. Within 24 hours, they settled on the substrate, eating live mysids (small shrimp-like crustaceans).

“Having the hatchlings will give the Museum staff (and repeat guests) opportunities to closely follow their growth and the changes that come with it,” said Dr. José H. Leal, National Shell Museum Science Director & Curator.

For the time being, the hatchlings will be kept off display so that the Aquarists can monitor their behavior and feeding habits. In the meantime, check out the adult Bobtail Squid on display in the Living Gallery!

About the Museum:
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 500,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.

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