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European squid


maximum 75 centimeters


can change color


crustaceans and fish


rays, dolphins, seals and people



  • Dut: Pijlinktvis
  • Lat: Loligo spp.
  • Eng: European squid
  • Ger: Gemeiner Kalmar
  • Fren: Calmar
  • Dan: 10-armede blæksprutte
Squid, Ecomare

European squid

European squid swim backwards. They have two sidelong fins on the hind part of their body, giving them an arrow-like appearance. In Dutch, they are appropriately called 'arrow' squid. Like all cuttlefish, squid have highly developed eyes which they use to hunt. When chasing a school of fish, they rapidly swim backwards through the school, turning suddenly on their side to grab a fish. The cords of eggs are found on the beaches in June. There's a good chance to even see young squid in the eggs! Adult European squid do not generally come close to the coast, and therefore do not often wash ashore. However, you can find their elongated cuttlebone, which looks like a hard transparent piece of plastic.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Egg strings from a squid, Ecomare

    European squids are the most common of the cuttlefish species in the North Sea. They live between the sea surface and 500 meters deep. European squids migrate in the spring to the north and to coastal waters to lay their eggs, after which they die.