A new species of cuttlefish, which belongs to the genus of sepia vecchioni, has been discovered recently by the Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI).
It was spotted along the coastal area of Colachel in Kanyakumari district by FCRI scientists while carrying out an intensive research on cephalopod taxonomy. This species had been misconstrued as sepia prashadi so far, Dr. Venkataramani, Dean of the college, told The Hindu here on Tuesday.
With this species, the number of cuttlefish species recorded in the Indian seas has gone up to15. Referring to the etymology of the new species, Dr. Venkataramani said it was named after Dr. Michael Vecchione, a renowned cephalopod taxonomist. So it has been identified as patronymic species. “The sepia vecchioni has distinguished features of transverse zebra type white stripes facing upwards in the dorsal mantle of the body, four median suckers, three rows of biserial normal suckers and the arms are elongated whip like. They are fragile and elliptically oval shaped. It also shows a clear cut sexual dimorphism and in cuttlebone characteristics,” he said.
The scientists of FCRI would make an in-depth study on the biological status and stock assessment of the new species in the Gulf of Mannar, South East Coast of India, he added. During 2003, scientists found two new species of cuttlefish along Tuticorin coast and christened them sepia prabahari and sepia ramani.