Sepia hierredda 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Cephalopoda Sepioloida Sepiidae

Scientific Name: Sepia hierredda Rang, 1835 (in Férussac & d'Orbigny 1834-1848)
Common Name(s):
English Giant African Cuttlefish
French Seiche géante Africaine
Spanish Sepia gigante Africana
Taxonomic Notes: Morphological and allozyme analysis have shown that Sepia hierredda is a separate species to Sepia officinalis (Reid et al. 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-03-14
Assessor(s): Barratt, I. & Allcock, L.
Reviewer(s): Reid, A., Rogers, Alex & Bohm, M.
Contributor(s): Herdson, R. & Duncan, C.
Sepia hierredda has been assessed as Data Deficient as it is subject to intensive fishing pressure in certain regions (e.g. Western Sahara and Mauritania). It has previously been confused with S. officinalis (the only cuttlefish species for which separate FAO statistics are reported) and the lack of reliable FAO data makes it difficult to assess the current status of the species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges along the west coast of Africa from Cape Blanc, Mauritania in the north and southwards to Tigres Bay, Angola (Reid et al. 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Equatorial Guinea (mainland)); Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mauritania; Nigeria; Sao Tomé and Principe (Principe, Sâo Tomé); Senegal; Togo; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – southeast; Atlantic – eastern central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population size of this species is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This very large species can reach a mantle length of up to 500 mm and total weight up to 7,500 g (Reid et al. 2005). Where their geographic distributions overlap, Sepia hierredda occurs in depths shallower than 50 m, whilst Sepia officinalis occurs in depths deeper than 100 m (Reid et al. 2005). It undergoes migrations and spawning is extended between February and September (Reid et al. 2005).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a commercially important fishery species in the east central Atlantic and is the dominant cuttlefish species caught by Spanish fisheries in waters off Western Sahara and Mauritania (Reid et al. 2005).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Ocean acidification caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is potentially a threat to all cuttlefish. Studies have shown that under high pCO2 concentrations, cuttlefishes actually lay down a denser cuttlebone which is likely to negatively affect buoyancy regulation (Gutowska et al. 2010). It is commercially fished in the east central Atlantic. It is caught by Spanish fisheries off the Western Sahara and Mauritania (Reid et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research is required into trends in population size and the impacts of harvesting.

Citation: Barratt, I. & Allcock, L. 2012. Sepia hierredda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T162498A902737. . Downloaded on 22 October 2017.
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