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Flying squid

size:

up to 120 centimeters

color:

reddish

food:

crustaceans, fish, sea snails, other cuttlefish species

enemies:

dolphins, seals, people

reproduction:

sexual

  • Dut: Grote Pijlinktvis
  • Lat: Todarodes sagittatus (Ommatostrephes sagittatus)
  • Eng: Flying squid, Arrow squid, Sagittal Squid
  • Ger: Großer Pfeilkalmar
Sagittal squid, Ecomare

Flying squid

The flying squid is the largest species of cuttlefish found in the North Sea. Up till the 1950s, flying squid regularly washed ashore on the Dutch beaches, but since those days the species has grown rarer. In some countries, this squid is fished for consumption or used as bait.

On Texel


Flying squid, washed ashore in 2010, Marc ter Ellen

A stranded flying squid is a rarity on Texel. It doesn't happen often but in 2010 it occurred three times shortly one after the other!

  • 'Geuzen' fish

    Soon after the Beeldenstorm ('Statue storm') in the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century, two large flying squid washed ashore on the Holland beach. Adriaen Coenen describes these beachings in 1578 in his Visboeck (Fish book). They were seven feet long, including the feet. In those days, these animals were referred to as 'poelomp'.

    The beachings caused much commotion because 'geuzen fish' had washed ashore. The suckers on the tentacles closely resembled the bowls carried around by the Geuzen, which was a distinguishing mark for their guild. Many Hollanders believed that the beaching of the poelomps was a sign that something significant with the Geuzen was soon to happen. Coenen didn't agree. He had witnessed such a beaching twenty years earlier. Nevertheless, the Dutch Republic was proclaimed not long after the beachings. So perhaps the stranding of the geuzen fish was an omen!

  • On Texel

    A stranded flying squid is a rarity on Texel. It doesn't happen often but in 2010 it occurred three times shortly one after the other!

  • 'Geuzen' fish

    Soon after the Beeldenstorm ('Statue storm') in the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century, two large flying squid washed ashore on the Holland beach. Adriaen Coenen describes these beachings in 1578 in his Visboeck (Fish book). They were seven feet long, including the feet. In those days, these animals were referred to as 'poelomp'.

    The beachings caused much commotion because 'geuzen fish' had washed ashore. The suckers on the tentacles closely resembled the bowls carried around by the Geuzen, which was a distinguishing mark for their guild. Many Hollanders believed that the beaching of the poelomps was a sign that something significant with the Geuzen was soon to happen. Coenen didn't agree. He had witnessed such a beaching twenty years earlier. Nevertheless, the Dutch Republic was proclaimed not long after the beachings. So perhaps the stranding of the geuzen fish was an omen!

  • Distribution and habitat

    The flying squid is a species of open seas and rarely found in coastal waters. It swims between the surface and 1000 meters deep. It is found more often in the cold north of the North Sea than in the warmer south. Flying squid spawn in the winter in the Atlantic Ocean.