Sepia elliptica


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sepia elliptica
Species Authority: Hoyle, 1885
Common Name(s):
English Ovalbone Cuttlefish
French Seiche á sepion ovale
Spanish Sepia de sepión oval
Taxonomic Notes: Misidentifications include: Sepia esculenta Hoyle, 1885; Sepia madokai Adam, 1939a; Sepia stellifera Homenko and Khromov, 1984.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2009-03-13
Assessor(s): Barratt, I. & Allcock, L.
Reviewer(s): Reid, A., Rogers, Alex & Bohm, M.
Contributor(s): Herdson, R. & Duncan, C.
Sepia elliptica has been assessed as Data Deficient. It is taken as bycatch throughout much of its range. Its high abundance in some regions may make it the subject of a fishery in the future. Given the large bycatch take, further data are required to confirm the stability of this population before we can consider it Least Concern. There are additional issues surrounding such data because this species is so often misidentified.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed along the north coast of Australia from Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia to the Capricorn Island group in Queensland, and southern New Guinea (Reid et al. 2005). Its range also includes the Arafura Sea, Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait (Reid et al. 2005). Records from Viet Nam and India are almost certainly misidentifications (Reid et al. 2005).
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); Indonesia (Papua); Papua New Guinea (Papua New Guinea (main island group))
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species is unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species mostly occurs in coastal waters, for example in the Gulf of Carpentaria it was most abundant between 10 and 62 m (Reid et al. 2005). A wide range of body sizes throughout most of the year suggest an extended spawning season (Reid et al. 2005).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is sometimes caught as bycatch (Reid et al. 2005). Though currently not targeted its high abundance in experimental trawl surveys in the Gulf of Carpentharia suggest it has fishery potential (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). This species is taken as bycatch furthermore, its high abundance in some regions indicate its fishery potential (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 elliptica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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