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Molluscs of Tasmania

Spirulidae: Spirula spirula (Linnaeus, 1758) (‘common ramshorn-squid’)

Synonym(s): spirula Linnaeus, 1758.

Typical shell-length 23 mm. Living animal is a deep-water pelagic squid. Once dead, the animal’s chambered, gas-filled shell floats and may drift a long distance before beaching. Lives in offshore waters in midwater, undertaking diel migrations from 1000 m depth by day to 100 m by night. Native. Occurs all around Australia (QLD, NSW, TAS, VIC, SA, WA and NT); also widespread in warmer oceanic waters worldwide. In Tasmanian waters the beached shells of this species are mostly recorded from the E coast, where it can occasionally be common.


Class: Cephalopoda
Subclass: Coleoidea
Order: Spirulida
Superfamily: Spirulida – unplaced
Family: Spirulidae
Genus: Spirula

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