Primorsky Aquarium breeds butterfly bobtail (Sepiola birostrata)

Primorsky Aquarium breeds butterfly bobtail (Sepiola birostrata)

The Primorsky Aquarium is working to educate our visitors about local boreal (=northern) species inhabiting the northwestern Pacific.


The wildlife of the Russian Far East seas is displayed in 46 aquariums, which usually receive new animal residents from the Sea of Japan, or East Sea.


The butterfly bobtail is one of the cephalopod species you can see at the Primorsky Aquarium’s exhibits. These tiny creatures arrived from the Peter the Great Bay and the aquarists managed to ensure excellent welfare conditions for them. Several females laid their eggs in December 2022 and in mid-March first hatchlings appeared. The processes of cephalopod reproduction in aquariums appear to be of particular interest for scientific purpose.


According to Yuri Nekotinev, Lead Specialist of the Department of Russian Far East Marine Species, the butterfly bobtails have been kept both in the Science and Acclimation Building and in the Main Building of the Primorsky Aquarium under conditions similar to the wild, including optimum water temperature and live foods. As Yuri told, the cuttlefish spawned in both places, but started laying eggs first in the Main Building, because the water temperature there was higher.


The butterfly bobtail, Sepiola birostrata, is a small, up to 5 cm in length, cuttlefish from the family Sepiolidae. This sepiolid is found in the coastal waters of the Russian Far East seas. Its characteristic feature is bioluminescence, the ability to produce light by a chemical reaction within its body.